Mark 3 is a microcosm of Jesus ministry. He is doing what we always find him doing when we read the Gospels. He is always…
Jesus is Always Restoring Withered Lives
- In just three chapters Jesus has reached, touched healed so many people that Mark quits counting. But there are a few stories that were game changers both for the person healed and for those who witnessed. This one was especially significant because of when it happened. The Sabbath.
- OT Law mandated no work on Sabbath, but gave an exclusions for interceding in life threatening situations.
- Man with Shriveled Hand had a condition that wasn’t life threatening but it was definitely life debilitating.
- An old church commentator named Jerome said that this man was a mason. So his livelihood was severely limited by his condition.
- Matthew 12:11-12
- As soon as the man puts forth his hand he is healed. The atrophied muscles are instantly healed and his hand is as strong as his other healthy hand was.
Jesus is Always Rebuking Withered Hearts
- Specifically religious people’s withered hearts. Like the Pharisees. There was nobody who Jesus directed more ire toward.
- Here were men in the synagogue who professed great reverence for God and for his law. But they were fighting against the Lord, but were pretending to be zealous for him.
- It is an old trick of the enemy, to fight true religion with false religion, to battle with godliness in the name of orthodoxy.
- Jesus is challenging the Pharisees' understanding, not just of what the Sabbath is all about, but of what God is all about. The Sabbath was God's day, so they figured they ought to be about the things that God cares about, like prayer, worship, and keeping the rules
- But Jesus wants them to understand that the thing God really cares about is people and their wellbeing—their happiness and their wholeness. That's why he gave them the Sabbath in the first place! So of course it's lawful to do good on the Sabbath. In fact, doing good is what the Sabbath is all about!
- It turns out that what God wants isn't a lot of religious activity. He wants us to be about his work in the world. He wants us to care about the things he cares about, so that we can be his hands and feet to the people we bump into every day. Doing good is one of the most Christ-like, God-honoring things we can do, even though it may not always look very “spiritual
Jesus is Always Recruiting Withered Souls
- Crowds from everywhere - Popularity Soaring
- Mark 3:7-10
- While Jesus spoke life into the crowds, nobody felt the soul awakening like the 12 disciples he called.
- Mark 3:13-19
- Note the reason he called them:
- Called to be with him (relational identity)
- Called to preach and have authority (purpose)
- This changed these men. This changed the world. It’s still changing the world
- This is why we have life groups. Because Jesus did. He wanted and they needed to be with him and to be with one another. He wanted and they needed to have a purpose in life that was bigger than themselves. He gave them authority. Not to do their will but do do God’s will.