Popularity

 

POPULARITY

Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all He was doing, many people came to Him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. (Mark 3: 6-8).

O-oh Jesus! So early in your ministry and you are already ruffling feathers!

Never had a rabbi caused such a stir in Israel. Look at the area His fame had already covered. People streamed to hear Him from as far afield as Tyre and Sidon – and that without Google or Facebook! Who needed the mass media when word of mouth worked just as well?

Why were the religious leaders already plotting murder? What had He done to them? They functioned on their man-made rules because it suited them. As long as they got their behaviour streamlined according to their human mentors, what went on in their hearts was of no consequence. Jesus challenged their heart and conscience.

They attacked Him for healing a man with a paralysed hand on the Sabbath. To them that was “work” and He had therefore violated the Sabbath. He responded by exposing their hearts. They had no compassion for the man and his suffering. They were only concerned about preserving the façade of their “righteousness”, whatever that meant. They had both misunderstood and misrepresented Torah, God’s instructions on the best way to live.

They believed that, as long as they performed according to the letter of the Law, and the many interpretation of the rabbis down the centuries, they had earned God’s favour, no matter how impure their hearts and motives were. The additions made by the sages, as far as they were concerned, carried as much weight as the Word of God itself. Not to obey them to the letter was culpable.

Jesus was not only a threat to their authority, He was also a threat to them because He pulled the covers off their evil hearts. Their concern was not so much for the honour of God as it was for their own honour in the eyes of the people. Every time Jesus showed them up, they lost the respect and obedience of the people. They were losing control and they didn’t like it. Control! That was the issue. They were the authority. They were the learned ones. The people were ignorant. They were the ones who knew and interpreted the Law and the people were to obey them. They could manipulate them through their religion.

Now Jesus comes along and undermines their authority by showing up their hearts. They were not interested in the truth or what was right. Only who was right mattered and they believed that they were right. The only solution for them was to eliminate the opposition. The seeds of murder were already in their hearts and Jesus watered them by His insistence on the truth.

What was Jesus’ take on the Law? He made it clear that His purpose for coming was not to do away with Torah but to show them how to live it out so that God’s heart of mercy would be revealed in the everyday application of the Law. In this instance, the issue was the Sabbath. When confronted with an opportunity to show mercy, what was one to do? The Torah said, “Don’t do any work.” What constituted work? The Pharisees insisted that healing a man on the Sabbath was “work”. Jesus countered their interpretation by overriding their laws with mercy. Showing mercy was not work.

Of course, the proof was in the action. Just as Jesus proved, on another occasion that He could forgive sins by healing a paralysed man, so now He proved that He was Lord of the Sabbath by healing this man on the Sabbath.

Imagine how frustrated these Pharisees and religious leaders must have been because they could not fight against His miracles! What proof did they have that they were right? None. They had only one alternative. Get rid of Him before they lost control altogether.

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!

Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com.

Check out my Blog site – www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com

 

 

 

LARITY Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. When they heard about all He was doing, many people came to Him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. (Mark 3: 6-8). O-oh Jesus! So early in your ministry and you are already ruffling feathers! Never had a rabbi caused such a stir in Israel. Look at the area His fame had already covered. People streamed to hear Him from as far afield as Tyre and Sidon – and that without Google or Facebook! Who needed the mass media when word of mouth worked just as well? Why were the religious leaders already plotting murder? What had He done to them? They functioned on their man-made rules because it suited them. As long as they got their behaviour streamlined according to their human mentors, what went on in their hearts was of no consequence. Jesus challenged their heart and conscience. They attacked Him for healing a man with a paralysed hand on the Sabbath. To them that was “work” and He had therefore violated the Sabbath. He responded by exposing their hearts. They had no compassion for the man and his suffering. They were only concerned about preserving the façade of their “righteousness”, whatever that meant. They had both misunderstood and misrepresented Torah, God’s instructions on the best way to live. They believed that, as long as they performed according to the letter of the Law, and the many interpretation of the rabbis down the centuries, they had earned God’s favour, no matter how impure their hearts and motives were. The additions made by the sages, as far as they were concerned, carried as much weight as the Word of God itself. Not to obey them to the letter was culpable. Jesus was not only a threat to their authority, He was also a threat to them because He pulled the covers off their evil hearts. Their concern was not so much for the honour of God as it was for their own honour in the eyes of the people. Every time Jesus showed them up, they lost the respect and obedience of the people. They were losing control and they didn’t like it. Control! That was the issue. They were the authority. They were the learned ones. The people were ignorant. They were the ones who knew and interpreted the Law and the people were to obey them. They could manipulate them through their religion. Now Jesus comes along and undermines their authority by showing up their hearts. They were not interested in the truth or what was right. Only who was right mattered and they believed that they were right. The only solution for them was to eliminate the opposition. The seeds of murder were already in their hearts and Jesus watered them by His insistence on the truth. What was Jesus’ take on the Law? He made it clear that His purpose for coming was not to do away with Torah but to show them how to live it out so that God’s heart of mercy would be revealed in the everyday application of the Law. In this instance, the issue was the Sabbath. When confronted with an opportunity to show mercy, what was one to do? The Torah said, “Don’t do any work.” What constituted work? The Pharisees insisted that healing a man on the Sabbath was “work”. Jesus countered their interpretation by overriding their laws with mercy. Showing mercy was not work. Of course, the proof was in the action. Just as Jesus proved, on another occasion that He could forgive sins by healing a paralysed man, so now He proved that He was Lord of the Sabbath by healing this man on the Sabbath. Imagine how frustrated these Pharisees and religious leaders must have been because they could not fight against His miracles! What proof did they have that they were right? None. They had only one alternative. Get rid of Him before they lost control altogether. Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Have you read my new book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (copyright 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it! Available on www.amazon.com in paperback, e-book or kindle version or order directly from the publisher at www.partridgepublishing.com. Check out my Blog site – www.learningtobeason.wordpress.com

Luella Campbell


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