THE GOSPEL OF MARK – TO DO GOOD OR TO DO EVIL

TO DO GOOD OR TO DO EVIL

1 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Je,sus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

4 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.

5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. Mark 3:1-6

“Happy are those who are persecuted for doing right…” The battle lines are drawn. This incident is loaded – with emotion; with anger, frustration and determination. Both camps were adamant that they were right in what they believed to be true and in what they did. Of course, only one side could be right but it depended on their understanding of righteousness.

The crowning proof that Jesus was right was the healing of the man – something supernatural that came through the power of God and to which the Pharisees had no answer. On a previous occasion, when they contested Jesus over His forgiving the paralysed man, He responded, “Which is easier, to forgive sin or to heal the man? Just to show you that I have the right and power to do both…” He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home,” which the man did!

The Pharisees could do nothing to prove that they were right because all they were doing for “righteousness” was nothing!

They killed Jesus because of envy – not so much wanting what He had; far from it. They hated Him for what He was and had murderous intent towards Him. Envy says, “I hate your goodness; I hate your generosity; I hate who you are and I will get rid of you for it.”

This is the nature of the war that rages between God and Satan and between the kingdom of light and the dominion of darkness. There is nothing kind or benevolent in Satan’s realm. It is malevolent, destructive and utterly selfish and bent on sucking as many people as possible into its doom. Jesus is light and represents light. His entire bent is towards “shalom” – promoting the wholeness and well-being of others. He did whatever He could and wherever He could to alleviate suffering and offer the opportunity of life – righteousness, peace, joy and power in the Holy Spirit.

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Luella Campbell


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