Correction: In the last Red Letters post, I absentmindedly wrote “…Lord of the harvest” for the lead in. It should have been …”Lord of the Sabbath”. I am sorry if that confused anyone.
“Stretch out your hand.” Mark 3:3-6
Again, the enemy attacked Jesus as he went about his business…doing good, helping, and healing. Again, the offence is doing good on the Sabbath. Jesus challenged them to choose how to keep the Sabbath, “…to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?” Anger and grief were Jesus’ reaction as he looked around at them.
A couple of observations come to my mind:
- If there were any day when healing a person would be appropriate, it would be the day dedicated—holy, to the Lord.
- Jesus had already declared his ownership of the Sabbath. The Pharisees cannot seem to help themselves. They opposed everything Jesus did! They could not tolerate his popularity nor his power…to the point that they lost any common sense, and even made fools of themselves.
As we watch our own culture decompose, we can see some of this same mindset. A man carries a poster that says “If Jesus comes back, kill him again.” Anger and grief are appropriate reactions. But what do we do with our anger and grief? Kill and do harm? For God’s sake, for the Kingdom’s sake, we must “do good”. To save lives and souls is the goal. May Jesus’ followers show the same passion and urgency to do the good work of saving lives and souls. Pray for workers. Raise up ministers and servants of God.
Our “doing good” must be led by prayer and hope, because our leader is the Lord of the Sabbath. Anger and grief may move us, but these emotions will not fuel us. Hope and trust in Jesus will keep us going, and keep us going in the right direction. Fear will not win souls. Anger will not calm this storm. Our God loves, and does not want anyone to be trapped by evil nor lost to hell fire. We must have this same heart. This heart will be strong and courageous. We will find rest in the Lord of the Sabbath as we go about this honorable work.