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Daily Bible Readings

Jesus Heals the Broken While Ideologies Fight On

Posted by Dan Sullivan on

[4] And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. [5] And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. [6] The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Mark 3:4–6 ESV Read More

It can’t be a good thing if Jesus is angry. He’s been healing and teaching all over the surrounding cities and people from everywhere are coming to hear Him and be healed of various things. His following is building with casual followers and disciples who have left everything to be with Him. 

In the movies, if you had a powerful man like this get angry, there would be a reckoning. 

In reality, if you had a powerful man like this get angry, there would be a protest or a rally. If not that, His followers would at least flood Facebook with rants and critical memes. 

Instead of all of that, Jesus comes at the Pharisees and the people of Capernaum with the 1–2 punch of reason and mercy. 

  1. He reasons with the Pharisees to look past the Sabbath and consider what is good or bad. Is the Sabbath all about not doing anything, or about doing good if you can? They prohibit healing on the Sabbath because healing is work, but God would rather heal us than have us deny a person what we freely have to give them. God created the Sabbath as a thing to help mankind, not a thing that mankind would have to submit to and serve. 

  2. Despite the controversy, Jesus has mercy on the man with the injured hand. He looks past the issues at hand and the disturbance the Pharisees will cause because of it and He heals the man. Jesus doesn’t shy away from doing what is right in spite of being misunderstood and even harassed for it. Too many times, in the midst of our debates and discussions, the ‘least of these’ get run over by people fighting with ideologies. 

Finally, look at what Jesus is grieved over. Hard-heartedness means that they aren’t open to reason and that they are blind to mercy. Instead of really drawing near to God and learning something, they are only seeking to win an argument. When we look past reality and turn something into a fight to be won, we are acting like the Pharisees that grieved Jesus and made Him angry. 

It’s easy to apply this to some national political scene, but it’s true in our living rooms too. When we forgo mercy and reason for the sake of being right and justifying ourselves, we leave the place of healing and we hang out with the Herodians. The life of Jesus invites us to not pay attention to our own justification. How much better to look for ways to heal the hurting, the poor, the sick, the outcast? Let the Pharisees and Herodians have their debates and arguments, they aren’t sticking around in the synagogue anyway. Bring the meek but true life of Christ into more situations, even if it means we look bad. 

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Tags: action, apologetics, argument, debate, peace, politics