Monday, 16 May 2022
“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.” -Mark 3:5
In today’s Scripture we see Jesus healing a man’s shriveled hand on the Sabbath. The other writers of the gospel also record this incident (Luke 6:10 & Matthew 12:13). Jesus addressed the people and asked them whether it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath day. The silence of the Pharisees in the crowd reflected their bitter attitude.
Jesus was angry (Vs.5) about their uncaring attitude toward a suffering person and their failure in understanding God’s love. Though these Pharisees preach and teach, they are far from obeying God’s Word. God hates such attitude of hypocrisy. Anger itself is not wrong if used for right purpose. Nevertheless, the root cause of anger and its outcome, count a lot. We must not let our anger to be expressed in harmful ways and for selfish reasons. Jesus expressed His anger to correct the Pharisees, thereby being able to heal the sick man. Anger can be used constructively but shouldn’t be targeted for tearing down people!
We see a very remarkable command in Vs.5 – “stretch out your hand.” With a withered hand, the man might have been incapable to lift it. Yet being commanded, it was his duty to obey. When he took the step of obedience, healing came instantaneously.
Man is crippled in his sin because of the fall that happened in the Garden of Eden. But if we need to be set ee and be redeemed from the curse of sin, we need to obey the Master- Jesus’s instructions! We need to let go of our sin and look to the Saviour who has paid the price of sin through His death! 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Once we take the decision to obey, we will receive a new lease of life and He will give us the strength to endeavor and to do His will. Rather than reasoning or questioning our abilities, a step of obedience will promote the outpouring of the grace of God. On the other hand, just think, what would have been the result if the sick man refused to stretch out his hand? It requires a step of faith to obey and receive God’s blessing.
We see from verses 7 & 8 that a large crowd was following Jesus. Many were seeking healing, some were out of curiosity, a few were looking for evidence to accuse Him, and others wanted to know whether Jesus truly was the Messiah. From the big crowd that followed, Jesus chose 12 to be His disciples. The selection was not based on their abilities. The one characteristic which was common to them was their willingness to follow and obey Jesus!
Being a good disciple is just a matter of following Christ with a willing heart. In our present day too, crowds still follow Jesus- for various reasons. But what is your intention to seek or follow Jesus? Do you just want to be one among many in the crowd or a willing disciple?
To heed: “…To obey is better than sacrifice….” (1 Samuel 15:22)