Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sabbath (religious rules) Made to Serve People

Mark 2:27- 3-5  
   2:27 Then Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”
  1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand.  2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath.
  3  Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him.
   5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!

Throughout Jesus' ministry the religious leaders continuously attacked him because he-- who is God-- declined to observe their human traditions that had grown up around the notion of 'The Sabbath.'  In fact, Jesus went out of his way to do God's work on The Sabbath, especially where God's work ran contrary to human traditions. He continually trapped the Pharisees in their own arguments about the Sabbath by the quality of His ministry and the results he got. He patiently tried to teach them all but the refused to open their minds to his teaching. To do so would mean they would have to relinquish authority and they were not about to do this. In the previous ten verses, this sort of argument had happened and now in this passage it was happening again. If you can believe it, even 'healing' was considered by Pharisee tradition to be unlawful on the Sabbath. In our passage for today we see Jesus, fully knowing it was sabbath and that he was in a Synagogue where Pharisees would be, 'noticed a man with a deformed hand.'  He really went looking of this man, possibly having seen him before. Jesus called the man up in front. Notice how he took authority in this place supposedly devoted to glorifying God. In this he again demonstrated that He was The Lord. Next he challenged the leaders  about doing good or evil on the Sabbath. They refused his challenge and stood silent, probably holding their collective breath, anticipating what he was about to do.

"He look around at them angrily. . ." Yes the Lord showed the emotion of anger. When people go out of their way to oppose God and prevent good or the release from suffering, that makes God angry! The man's hand was restored, but the hearts of the leaders were made more into cesspools of evil that day. In verse 6 we see how they went to plotting to murder him-- certainly not a behavior we would expect of ministry leaders in any setting.

Are you able to lay aside human traditions that have grown up around your particular church or denomination and embrace the larger 'body of Christ' basics of loving God supremely as demonstrated by serving others unconditionally. Can you release your 'sabbath rules' in favor of whatever God might call you to replace them with?

Your servant in Christ's Love

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to let us know how these thoughts have inspired, blessed, or challenged you. If you wish to engage, please post your question.

DreamHost reviews