Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sabbath Best

Mark 3:1-6 (MSG)
Then [Jesus] went back in the meeting place where He found a man with a crippled hand. The Pharisees had their eyes on Jesus to see if He would heal him, hoping to catch Him in a Sabbath infraction. He said to the man with the crippled hand, "Stand here where we can see you."

Then He spoke to the people: "What kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?" No one said a word.

He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out—it was as good as new! The Pharisees got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod's followers and ruin him.

Agendas. We all have them. Jesus had one and so did the Pharisees. Jesus' agenda was to do His Father's will--teach about the reality of the Kingdom come and to heal. Jesus could not, would not, turn away from the man with the crippled hand. He noticed him right off, and would not leave without healing him. And the consequences did not matter, only following the Father's will for this man to have two good hands.

The Pharisees' agenda was to throw dirt on Jesus. And they did. Nothing would change their minds about Jesus--not what He did or what He said. And even in His anger at them, He still hurt for them, as the Amplified says, "grieved at the hardening of their hearts."

Hearts. We all have them. Does our heart break like Jesus for those who are hurting? Are we more concerned with doing the Father's will and pleasing our Father than pleasing the crowd? Are our words healing and encouraging or are do they accuse, blame and criticize like the Pharisees?

As I think on this, Beloved, I remember all my hurtful accusations, blame and criticism towards those I loved the most. How You must have been grieved at my hard heart! Help me to do the Sabbath Best. Help me to say healing words every day of the week!

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