Morning Musing: Mark 3:6

“Immediately the Pharisees went out and started plotting with the Herodians against him, how they might kill him.”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

So, we’ve been talking for the last couple of days about Jesus and the Pharisees debating the rules that governed Jewish life in the first century. Specifically, they were at odds over the Sabbath command. The original command was simple: Don’t work on the Sabbath. In the centuries since, though, much had been added to make clear exactly what that meant. By Jesus’ day, that “much” had come to carry more weight than the original law itself. This new law and the Law in general had come for them to be more important than the people it governed. Well, what happens when the rules become more important than the people they govern? We get a glimpse of that here.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 3:3-5

“He told the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand before us.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out, and his hand was restored.” (CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Why do we have rules? Sound familiar? We started there yesterday too. But here at the beginning of Mark 3, we find Jesus debating the same issue yet again with the Pharisees. Here, though, things are starting to get a bit hotter. The last lesson He taught them was that the rules are first for our good, not simply to be followed because they are there. Here…He teaches the same lesson but in a much more graphic way. Let’s see how.

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Morning Musing: Mark 2:27

“Then he told them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath.’”‬ ‭(CSB‬‬ – Read the chapter)

Why do we have rules? What is their purpose? At the most basic level there are two purposes. One is to restrain. The other is to teach. These two are not mutually exclusive of one another. Some rules are intended both to restrain and teach. They restrain behavior that is bad while actively teaching behavior that is good. Good rules do this. Out of balance, though, things can get messy quickly. What we see here is Jesus teaching the Pharisees a lesson on the purpose of God’s rules. Let’s pay attention to it.

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