Scripture: “Again (Jesus) entered the synagogue and a man was there with a withered hand.

 

And (the Pharisees) watched Jesus to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath (so they might accuse him).  And (Jesus) said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”

 

And (Jesus) said to (the Pharisees), “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm; to save life or to kill?”  But (the Pharisees) were silent.

 

And (Jesus) 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.

 

The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against (Jesus), how to destroy him.” (Mk 3:1:6)

 

Observation:  Scenario: Gather around; someone needs a miracle; challenge Pharisees whether the “traditions” allow miracles; perform a miracle no matter what the answer was.  By this, Jesus reveals the hardness of the people’s heart and presents the Kingdom of God in their midst.

 

Analysis: I am pretty sure I will see this pattern repeatedly in the gospels.  I would think that the people would wake up after one or two times.  Isn’t going to happen.

 

I am just like that, though.  Stuff like this must be hammered repeatedly into my thick skull and stony heart.  It isn’t being stupid or incapable of understanding; it is because of one thing.

 

I forget.

 

What was (and is) the Sin of Israel?  Simply: “They soon forgot.”  Humongous miracles performed by God to their benefit, and what happens in the next chapter?  Israel creates an idol or something, rebels against God’s given authority, cowers in the face of other armies…basically says, “Thanks, God.  What have You done for me today?  Do You honestly believe that I should follow You without reason standing right in front of me?”

 

Spurgeon says, “I continually preach the Gospel because we continually forget the Gospel.”

 

Jesus set the Pharisees up.  He knew what their answer would be: no answer.  Aggrieved anger at the so-called leaders of the local Synagogue.  Healed the guy.  So, the response was?  Celebration that the man’s hand was miraculously restored?  “Did you see that?  Wow!!  That was something!”

 

Nope.  Ticked off, the Pharisees scurried like rats to another gathering of rats to plot revenge on Jesus, “How dare that Galilean challenge us like that?  Doesn’t he know who we are?”

 

What do I do when the Word of Life confronts me?  It takes conscious effort to react favorably and not like a Pharisee; to yield to the Word and not be rebellious and ignore it; to lay my opinion down in subjected surrender and to say, “Your will, not mine O Lord.”

I want to be like a Berean (Acts 17:11): “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”

 

Our calling for 2020 at Good Life.

 

Prayer:  Father, thank you for exciting me about Your Word.  I receive it most times with joy; sometimes gritting my teeth because it calls for change.  Help me, make me not read the Word for other people (like I have arrived, yeah, right…) and cause me to see clearly in the mirror.  I want to please You, O Lord.  AMEN.