Summary: Crossroads of Misunderstanding: (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

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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.

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