Monday, May 18, 2015

Is It Lawful to Love? - Mark 3:1-6 Post 1

Chalkboard: Mark 3:1-6 Post 1 Is it Lawful to Love? brokenbreadandsmallfish
It's the Sabbath again.  You are in the synagogue (Mark 3:1-6).  A man with a shriveled hand is there (Mark 3:1) and the Pharisees are wondering if You're going to do something about it (Mark 3:2).  It sounds like they're hoping You will, so they can accuse You of something.

I'm sure You know all this, and it seems like You would avoid trouble or conflict by taking the man off to the side somewhere - maybe visiting him at his home later in the week - healing him privately, and on a different day.

That's what I would have done.  Do what you need to do  without stirring up trouble. 

There were times when You healed people in a more private, discrete way. Like the leper, the deaf and mute man, the blind man, the dead girl.

But not this time.  

You tell the man to stand up in front of everyone (Mark 3:3).  
No avoiding conflict here.  You set the issue in their hearts front and center, before all who are there.  

"Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or harm, to save a life or to kill?" (Mark 3:4)

They were quiet.  

And You - our Jesus - 
You were angry. 

Why is this so important to You?
What makes You angry?
This whole Sabbath thing...or...?

I have trouble letting You be Lord of the Sabbath.  I have trouble letting You be Lord of lots of things.  I want things done the way I think best, the way I think they ought to be or the way I want them to be.
But You will not be hemmed in by my attempts to control, that I think are so right.  You look at them and laugh (Ps. 2:4).

But You are not laughing here.

"Is it lawful...?"

If all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40) hang on the 1st 2 commandments: " the Lord your God"..."love your neighbor" (Mark 12:29-31)... 

...then a Sabbath day consecrated by God would have room in it for the fulfillment of these 2 commandments.   It couldn't be a true Sabbath day if it didn't fulfill them in itself.

So what makes You angry?  

Hearts that will not love.  

Hearts that reject the rule of God's love for their own petty rules and expectations.  

Hearts that reject love not because they think they are not worthy of it, but because they think they don't need it.  

Hearts that cannot find compassion - love - for someone else.  

Stubborn, hard hearts that don't understand - don't want to understand - love. 

Hearts that use the Sabbath - or other things - to excuse themselves from the greatest commandments.

"Love the Lord your God", "Love your neighbor".  

But You do love, and Your love is so beyond me that You don't just walk away from their hard hearts in anger and disgust like I would.  You confront them out of Your great love for them by asking the question - Is it lawful to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?  

The answer seems obvious.  

But I wonder: would it seem so obvious if it were addressing one of my own issues, areas in my life and my expectations of myself and others?  About which, if asked, I would either have to remain silent or admit that I have set it above You and Your love, using it as an excuse not to love?

What have I gotten so rigid about or so caught up in that I've forgotten about letting You be Lord over it, letting Your love reign over it and permeate it?

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