Summary: Crossroads of Misunderstanding: (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Seatbelts, airbags & crash helmets have gone along way towards protecting lives in collisions:
• But there is no safety device that will protect us,
• In one of life’s most common collisions – misunderstandings.
• They of course can happen anywhere and at anytime:
• Someone misjudges our motives or misreads our actions,
• And it can take days, months, even years to repair the damage,
• Sadly some are left un-repaired!
The most misunderstood individual who ever lived was Jesus Christ:
• Critics joked about his birth,
• Sarcasm comments regarding illegitimacy,
• They disputed his heavenly origin,
• With anger and passion they claimed that he belonged to the devil.
• They scorned his purpose and condemned his teachings.
• And in the end, those same people crucified him as a criminal.
Quote: John the apostle wrote (John chapter 1 verse 5):
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it”.
• Christ collided with this darkness again and again and again,
• Mark chapter 3 gives us an insight of what it must have been like.
(1). Misunderstood by the Pharisees (vs 1-6).
For Jesus to enter a Synagogue was a brave thing:
• He had just clashed with the Pharisees (Mark chapter 2 verse 24),
• And now he is about to clash with them again.
In the Synagogue you could not miss them:
• They had the front seats, the seats of honour.
• It was the duty of the religious leaders to deal with anyone,
• Who broke their rules or who seemed likely to mislead the people,
• So they were there to make sure things were always done their way.
The Pharisees were the rule makers:
• They loved handing out photocopies of all their exiting do’s and don’ts.
• They added, big time, to the law of Moses.
Important rules such as women were not allowed to look in a mirror on the Sabbath.
• Because if she discovered a gray hair,
• She might commit the grievous sin of plucking it out!
Important rules like not wearing a broach because that would be carrying something.
They had another rule (over 700 for the Sabbath):
• This rule prohibited healing on the Sabbath,
• Unless the situation was life threatening.
For the third time in Mark’s gospel, Jesus deliberately violated the Pharisees Sabbath traditions:
• By healing this man with the withered hand, on the Sabbath.
• He could have avoided the Synagogue or the man, but he didn’t.
In fact verse 3 tells us:
• Jesus told the man to “Stand up in front of everybody”.
• Jesus was deliberately ‘in their face’.
On seven occasions recorded for us in the Gospels, Jesus heals somebody on the Sabbath.
• Not one of those occasions would the Pharisees have said,
• That there was an immediate danger of death.
• In other words why not wait 24 hours before healing those people,
• It would not really have made that much difference.
Quote: Luke chapter 13 verses 1-14:
“Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
But for Jesus this was a test case:
• He wanted to do more than merely heal the man or woman,
• He wanted to teach the Pharisees an important lesson.
• He wanted to inform them that God wanted His people to enjoy freedom,
• Not suffer in religious bondage.
VERSE 4: Jesus ASKS AN unanswerable Question:
Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent”.
Jesus put them in a dilemma,
• They were bound to admit that is was lawful to do good.
• And it was of course a good thing that Jesus was about to do.
• They would obviously deny it was lawful to do evil, yet
• It was an evil thing to leave a man a in a crippled condition, when he could be healed.
• This for the Pharisees is an unanswerable question,
• To give the true answer is to condemn themselves publicly!
“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts”.
Jesus is both angry and sad:
• Angry at the insensitivity and callousness of the religious leaders,.
• Sad that they could not see beyond their rigid legal framework.
“He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand. “He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored”.
• With a word of power, Jesus heals the man.
• But notice; no-one comments or even praises God.