The Anger of Jesus
“Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”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. 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. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him” (Mark 3:1–6 ESV)
It’s strange how you can read a passage many times in your life, then one day see things you never saw before.
We usually read this passage as nice Jesus doing good in front of bad guys and we clap and move on.
There’s so much more here…
When you check out your Greek N.T. it says that Jesus was furious and saddened greatly at the same time.
Furious at the lack of compassion and saddened by the hardness of heart that had sucked it all away.
So…now we know how to make the Lord’s blood boil…but there’s more.
We learn that having compassion for the wrong people at the wrong time will make some religious folks want to kill you…but there’s still more.
The Sabbath was a symbol to the Jews of all their hopes and aspirations.
It was the flag they wrapped around themselves that spoke of what they believed, Who they believed in, and what they believed He would one day do on their behalf.
It represented their national and spiritual identity and to break Sabbath laws was to call into question every one of those things.
Jesus, the One who came to fulfill the Sabbath law and the law as a whole, interpreted that law…liberally.
He demonstrated that love was the greater law…even if it meant bending the rules.
The question I have after reading this passage…is where am I lacking in compassion and hard of heart because it looks like the rules are being broken?
I hate questions like that…but us religious folks need to ask them.