Summary: The series of clashes with the Pharisees reveal their blindness - blinded to (1) the true identity of Jesus and (2) the needs of man. Learn therefore that the power of life is in Jesus, and the focus of life ought to be the needs of others.

The 5 clashes Jesus had with the Pharisees:

Mark 2:7 "Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?

- Jesus has authority on earth to forgive sins!

Mark 2:17 "Why does he eat with tax collectors and ’sinners’?"

- Jesus has come to save sinners.

Mark 2:18 "How is it that John’s disciples & the disciples of the Pharisees are fasting, but yours are not?"

- The bridegroom is here. It’s a joyous occasion. Signal the beginning of something new.

No one pours new wine into old wineskins. The new has come.

Mark 2:24 "Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" (Picking heads of grain)

- The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath - He has the sovereign authority over its use. And the next incident shows that.

Mark 3:2 Pharisees looking for a reason to accuse Jesus

- Jesus healed the man with a shrivelled hand in front of them.

Two powers at play here - for the PHARISEES

• The way to live is to toe the line - follow the rules. Be strictly obedient to the Law.

• This is the way to God’s heart - they claimed.

• Therefore to live a righteous life - try to follow all the rules and stay away from sin.

Jesus brought in the power of the Kingdom of God

• Put your trust in Me - the way to live is to trust Me

• This is the way to God’s heart - believe in My beloved Son, listen to Him!

• Therefore the POWER OF LIVING IS IN THE PERSON - not the rules.

Two things the Pharisees are blinded to – who Jesus is, and the dire needs of man!

(1) THE POWER FOR LIFE IS IN THE PERSON OF JESUS The Pharisees were blinded to that!

They have the text, the code and the creed, and to them that is the truth.

• So they pass it on to others. The result is the people are dying spiritually.

• To know the truth, we must KNOW the Son.

The power for living is in the person, not the law.

• His presence makes the difference - for the leper, the paralysed man, for Levi Matthew, for the disciples, for the man with the shrivelled hand... and many more.

• Paul the Pharisee wasn’t converted because of his great knowledge of the law but when he faced Jesus. He saw the resurrected Jesus in a close encounter of the supernatural kind.

What power can frees you from sin - what power can free you from your sadness, depression, handicaps, and weakness???

• Not your discipline. Not your knowledge. Not your ability to follow rules. It’s JESUS.

• He is the doctor in our midst, the Bridegroom in this banquet of life, the Lord of the Sabbath.

• Only He can forgive sin, only He can heal you and delivers you from all our bondages.

Don’t turn to self-help books. Turn to Jesus.

• The Pharisees were so focused on their disciplines and their rules, that they’ve missed the greatest ANSWER to their search for righteousness and acceptance from God

• In His presence the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk,

In His presence broken hearts are mended, marriages are healed, and minds are restored.

In His presence the dead are raised

In His presence there is peace, and there is joy, there is faith, there is hope, and there is love.

Don’t let the disciplines of life overshadows the PERSON

• Don’t feel glad simply because I’ve done my QT - have I really spoken to Him?

• Don’t feel happy simply because I’m in church on Sunday - did you really worship (slept through)?

Don’t put your trust in the methods and mediums - put your trust in Jesus.


A man and an old lady arrived at the gate of heaven. Someone was there to greet them. "Why should I allow you to enter heaven?"

The man said, "Well, I was in the ministry for many years, I planted churches and wrote a number of books and pamphlets."

The person then asked, "But do you know Jesus?"

Somewhat irritated the minister answered, "Would I have done all these things if I had not known Him?"

He was asked again, "Why should I allow you to enter heaven?"

The man sighed, "Listen to me. Through the ministry, I believe hundreds were converted. I helped the poor and treated the sick. The whole town knew about my ministry."

"But do you know Jesus?"

"Could anyone have achieved this without knowing Him?" the man replied adamantly.

Finally, the same question was posed to the lady: "Why should I allow you to enter heaven?"

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