June 3, 2018
Mark 3:1-6…“He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” vs. 5
When Jesus had asked the religious leaders if it was lawful to do good on the sabbath they were silent. Even though the answer would have been obvious even to a child, they were tongue-tied and Jesus was furious. Was this what the proud faith of Judaism had become? A rule-bound religion that honored tradition over human life? He went ahead with the healing, a violation of the sabbath law, and the man’s hand was restored. The Pharisees were not impressed. In fact, they were infuriated and stalked out of the synagogue in a rage. Oh how we people of faith love our rules and traditions! Periodically we hear about compassionate folks who reach out to the illegal immigrants trying to cross our borders to seek a better life for their families. They want to provide water and assistance and some have been arrested and even imprisoned. Their accusers hold that the law is being threatened by their efforts and obedience to the rules is more important than anything else, even humanitarian outreach. And some Christians agree. If refugees don’t follow the rules they don’t deserve any help–even if they’re dying in the desert. One wonders what Jesus might say to that?
Thought for the Day: Why did law-abiding folks make Jesus so mad?