THE FIGHT IS ON!
KJV Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
Jesus did not have an easy road to victory. It was a hard fought battle!
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We just learned from chapter 2 that Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. Jesus is prophet priest and king. David is a type of Christ. He is most often seen as king…King David. But the Psalms are replete with prophetic utterances. David was a prophet. So, David is king and prophet. What about the priesthood, David was not born into the tribe of Aaron, so he had no right to the priesthood. But David was not a type of the Aaronic priesthood, he was a type of the never-ending priesthood of Melchisedek. Remember how David, when fleeing from King Saul, went to the priest Abiathar and ate of the showbread which was only for priests? Had he not been the type of Christ, making him a priest after the order of Melchisedek, he could have been put to death. David truly is the foreshadowing of Christ, prophet, priest and king.
In the scene at hand, Jesus was winning the popular vote. The incumbent establishment was on the defense. Their number one objective was “Stop Jesus!” The establishment was bearing down from two main sources of power. Demonic, those who were about to be cast out of people. Religious leaders, those who were steeped in religious tradition. These latter had hijacked the priesthood and changed the laws of God.
Jesus had just declared himself Lord of the Sabbath. The day of the week is of grave importance in this scenario. Jesus was taking back what the establishment had stolen. He marched right into the enemy’s camp and took back the authority of the Sabbath. The traditions of men were under direct attack by the true word of God. This showdown was a divine appointment, set up by the Father in heaven. This divine appointment must be kept. Jesus fully and completely obeyed the voice of His Father. Jesus always served obediently. We also should be prepared to do so on a daily basis.
This was the setup. It was the Sabbath wherein the Jews establishment had made man the servant of the Sabbath, saying a man could do no work. (Though they made exceptions for things they wanted to do.) Jesus walked into the synagogue (like our church) and was prepared to teach as he often did. But this day there was this special appointment. A man with a withered hand was there, prominently displayed by the Father. Everyone already there knew the condition of the man. The also knew Jesus had been healing all about them. So, we have Jesus, the Sabbath, the synagogue, the man with the withered hand and onlookers. What a setup!
“They” were watching. “They” were the opposition, otherwise, it would have been “we” and unity. Jesus had come to his own and his own received him not! How sad! Let’s make it personal. How would you like to be opposed to Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Man? It is a choice every person must make in his own generation and his own lifetime. Somewhere, he will encounter Christ. What will you do with Jesus?
These “watchers” were not interested in seeing a miracle, as one might suppose. So theey could see His good works and glorify the Father in heaven. Nope! These lookers were searching for something He might do against their “holy traditions.” So they could “accuse” him. Do you remember the name of the devil? The Accuser of the Brethren? By the way, and once again, “Where do I stand in relationship to the name ‘Accuser of the Brethren?’”
Jesus saw the afflicted and compassion came alive. Seeing the man with the withered hand was like thrusting gasoline onto an already lit fire. Or some might say, it was like saying “sic ‘em” to an aggressive dog. Jesus had a mandate from the Father. He had already said, “I must be about my father’s business.” After the baptism in the Jordan and the temptations in the wilderness, Jesus went straight to the synagogue with a message to preach. He took the scripture from Isaiah and declared, “I am anointed. Today! To preach and heal.” He was getting full swing into his mandated message. Everyone saw the revelation of the mandate.
The withered hand was in his view like a hunter with his prey in the scope. All about him were the gawkers, ready to see him heal…on the Sabbath! Would Jesus dare break the traditional law of the Jews? These evil eyes were ready to pounce on him and denounce him as ungodly if he dared to do so. They wanted to see him heal – having faith enough to think he might – but want to destroy the healer because he upset their religious “applecart.” These self-righteous frauds bound themselves to the traditions of men. The commitment was there rather than to the true Word of God. You see, with their setup, man could perform their good works and get glory to themselves. But under God’s plan, no man could possibly do so with his natural abilities. God’s plan made no place for men to receive glory unto themselves. All the glory then and now must always go only to God. Under the traditions of men, men were still conscious of their sins.
Jesus came to break them loose once and for all from that self-inflicted bondage. Jesus had a three-fold response.
1) He got angry
2) He became grieved for the hardness of their hearts. You see, he loved them just as much as he loved the afflicted man.
3) He healed. The call the man forth, restored his hand to wholeness like the good hand. We must never let the religious powerhouses stop us from healing the sick, even in public places, but especially in church. Jesus did not let them intimidate him and neither should we.
Jesus did not miss an opportunity to teach and preach the gospel, the good news of the kingdom of heaven. The old had to be folded and put away because a better way was at hand. The old bottle had to be put away for it could not receive the new wine without bursting and wasting all. Jesus was bringing fresh, new wine. The new covenant must be instated replacing the old covenant that was inferior. They must not put the new wine of the gospel into the old bottles of the Law of Moses. The vessel of the old could not receive the redeeming power of the new wine. “Ye must be born again!” The Holy Spirit is the new wine. The Holy Spirit must only enter the new vessels prepared by faith in the holy sacrifice of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world… Jesus on the cross. Ye must be born again and receive the Holy Ghost and fire! In your new born vessel. That outpouring that started in the Upper Room would have destroyed the Old Testament believers. At Jesus told Nicodemus that fateful night. “Ye must be born from above.” Born of the spirit. Otherwise, you cannot see the kingdom of heaven, neither can you receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The new birth is available to all who will call Jesus Lord. Then you are eligible to receive the powerful gift of the Holy Spirit and not be destroyed. It is like entering into the Holy of Holies wherein we are now invited to enter boldly to the throne of grace.
This is a free offering to you. Let me know if it blesses you. Thanks, Jim Conner