Summary: he Pharisees who were bent on controlling life through rules, tedium, and withholding grace stood in sharp contrast to the common people who flocked to Jesus.
It Takes All Kinds
1. Do you think of yourself as a rational, reasonable thinker, or an emotional one?
2. Let me read this story from the AP: “The U.S. is simply abandoning tons of equipment because shipping it home would cost too much… Military planners have decided to leave behind $7 billion worth of equipment, , The Washington Post reports, because it is no longer needed or simply is not worth the cost of shipping home.” Makes sense. Some people lose money rather than waste.
3. One form of irrational thinking is called “loss avoidance.” According to Wikipedia:
“Loss aversion implies that one who loses $100 will lose more satisfaction than another person will gain satisfaction from a $100 windfall. In marketing, the use of trial periods and rebates tries to take advantage of the buyer's tendency to value the good more after he incorporates it in the status quo.
“… whether a transaction is framed as a loss or as a gain is very important to this calculation: would you rather get a $5 discount, or avoid a $5 surcharge? The same change in price framed differently has a significant effect on consumer behavior.”
4. The Pharisees were into loss aversion big time; they were more concerned about have Jesus ignore their man-made additions to the Law regarding the Sabbath that they could not see the great Kingdom Jesus would set up on earth if they repented.
5. Being absorbed w/ loss aversion makes us ungracious, controlling, & entrenched.
Main Idea: The Pharisees who were bent on controlling life through rules, tedium, and withholding grace stood in sharp contrast to the common people who flocked to Jesus.
I. Impossible TUNNEL Vision People: Focusing on One Point Without Integrating into the Whole (1-6)
This is the last of 5 instances Mark cites to demonstrate the conflict building
A. Another perceived SATURDAY violation (1)
1. Hillel & Shammai: major differences Sabbath/ humanitarian considerations
2. Hillel said his disciples should follow the majority of the Pharisees
3. Jesus did not play by that rule
4. He was not going to withhold grace and love to appease controlling-types
B. Jesus PRECLUDES objections, but against the will of certain Pharisees (2-4)
1. These Pharisees narrow focus, the Sabbath, indifferent to human suffering
2. So many Christians gravitate to a fad or sub-point (inhibits compassion)
3. Even if you argue well from Scripture, they are still entrenched
4. Notice Jesus was angry (4); trivia absorption is a serious fault; unloving
5. He was grieving at the same time (anger and sadness often go together)
C. Jesus proceeds to do what was RIGHT despite the opinion that it was WRONG (5)
1. This is a growing challenge as our society becomes more anti-Christian
2. Boone’s book on missions: Many charge us with ruining culture/noble savage
3. Death penalty, pro-life, pro-traditional marriage. we are viewed as immoral
D. These Pharisees with their trite FETISH were FUELED for attack (6)
1. Ironically, they made allies of the Herodians
2. Wrong for Jesus to heal but okay to plot his death on the Sabbath?
E. Jesus saw the forest, Shammai’s School saw a few TREES
1. The things we argue about often mean little on our death beds
2. A little girl playing with her doll… ten years later…
F. Application 1: Impossible people want to be ACCOMMODATED but need to be ignored or they will inhibit GRACE flowing to others
1. Do you have an impossible boss? Teacher? Friend?
2. If you are under authority, there is little you can do.
3. Put your fingers in your ears and proceed … don’t placate the impossible…
4. Are we afraid of what others might think of us?
Proverbs 29:25, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.”
G. Appl. 2: We must CHECK tendencies in ourselves that keep us from loving others
• Love is what makes life rich. If we obsess over things or technical rightness, we are losing the most important part of life! If you don’t love, you lose.
II. The Everyday COMMON Folks: Needy and Eager to Be Blessed by Jesus (7-12)
A. People who are EAGER for Jesus will INCONVENIENCE themselves (7-8)
• Jesus heads further north, away from his enemies
• Coming from all parts of Israel, Jordan, and Lebanon…
1. The Pharisees hung around Jesus to find fault
2. These crowds wanted his help
B. Jesus ministered to the CROWDS
1. A boat so he could teach without being crushed
2. He healed many/ He cast out demons but silenced them
3. Many were considered as cursed by God (sin caused sickness, etc)
4. Pharisees (Shammai) assumed worst possible explanation
Rabbi Joseph Telushkin received this anonymous prayer:
Help us remember that the ‘jerk’ who cut us off in traffic last night may be a single mother who worked nine hours that day & who is now rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry, & spend a few precious minutes with her children.