Summary: A number of times, the religionists had attacked Jesus, accusing Him of teaching a false religion. I guess they often wondered… “Hey Jesus! Can’t You read the sign!? We have rule against that kind of stuff!” In Mark chapter three we see yet another confrontation.
While thinking about this message I was reminded of a song from my hippy days…
And the sign said "Long-haired freaky people need not apply"
So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
He said "You look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do"
So I took off my hat, I said "Imagine that. Huh! Me workin' for you!"
Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind
Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?
And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray"
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn't have a
penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine."
Is this where the church is today? Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign? Are we all about the sign?…
A number of times, the religionists had attacked Jesus, accusing Him of teaching a false religion.
I guess they often wondered… “Hey Jesus! Can’t You read the sign!? We have rule against that kind of stuff!”
In Mark chapter three we see yet another confrontation.
Jesus took the man with a withered hand and demonstrated just what true religion is and the demonstration was so clear and forceful that the religionists were stunned.
I’ve titled this message : “Can’t You Read the sign!?” Looking at Mark 3 I have to ask the question “What is True Christianity?”
Is it keeping some long list of rules…Is it all about obeying the signs?
I want to look at five things that I believe true Christianity is.
But first let’s look at what happened when Jesus entered the synagogue.
In verses 1, 2
Jesus noticed a man with a withered hand. I really don’t have Biblical evidence, other than looking at verse 2 and wondering if the man was planted there by the religious leaders, for the soul purpose of trapping Jesus.
When you look at this in the Greek text, we see that his hand had been injured or become diseased.
He was not born with a withered hand but his circumstance was still desperate.
This man was unable to work to support his family, because no one would hire a man with a withered hand.
He was forced to beg for his daily bread.
Jesus also noticed the religionists. You would think that the religious leaders would be the first in line to push the man to Jesus and say “Here’s a guy who needs Your help.”
These were probably the same delegation who had been sent earlier from the Sanhedrin to investigate His teaching.
See it was their duty to protect the people from false teachers and to protect the nation from religious rebels.
In reality they were not attending the synagogue to worship God, but to watch Jesus, so that they might accuse Him of breaking THEIR laws.
I wonder how many sit in church, for no other reason than to watch and pick out wrong in others so that they might accuse them and gossip about them? They want to say HEY!! Can’t you read the sign!?
Church should be a place for worship and ministering to all the "withered hands" people--hands that are unable to worship and serve God, hands that are withered because of ... dead spirits…disturbed emotions…misguided lives
Jesus say to those…“Stand Up”
v3. true Christianity is a willingness to stand up:
The words “Step forward”NKJV "stand forth"KJV actually means to "Rise up, stand up in the midst."
Jesus was saying to the man “If you want help you have to be willing to stand up.”
Let’s say that we were having a meal, after the service and you were very hungry. But instead of getting in line to fix a plate you sat down and hoped that someone would come along and fix it for you…We know that around here if you’re gonna eat you better get in line…
The man had to want help enough to be willing to stand, even if it meant standing before the audience and before the scornful religionists.
By taking a stand he would be confessing his faith in Jesus and in His power to save and heal.
It’s when we stand up that we say to the world that we believe that Jesus can and will help…Even when were told to sit down and be quiet.
Real Christianty is a willingness to stand up. Rules tells to sit down BUT Christ calls every person to rise up, stand up.
v4. True Christianity is about saving lives.
The problem the religionists had with Jesus was His breaking of their ceremonial law.