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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Entrapment (Mark 3)

Each of the gospels is a little different. While Matthew was using Old Testament prophecies to prove Jesus is the Messiah, Mark focused on the miracles Jesus did to prove He is God. But even with that, many refused to believe. Why do you think that is?

In the case of the Pharisees, it wasn't that Jesus didn't more than qualify for the job. He fulfilled all the prophecies of the Messiah. He was the most qualified anyone could be. That was the problem. Jesus was a threat to their authority and had to be eliminated.

That sounds crazy but we see it all the time in our world today, don't we? We see those in the political arena who are actually trying to help people and help our nation. Then we see others who scheme and conspire to destroy that person who is a threat to their power and control agenda.

Sometimes we see it closer to home in the work place. Unfortunately, we may also see it in families. We even see it within the church. For example, the Pharisees, the leaders of the Jews in Jesus' day, schemed and conspired to take Jesus down and destroy Him:

Mark 3:1-2 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 Jesus, 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.

The Pharisees refused to answer Jesus because they hoped to catch him violating their "laws" which they had added to God's law. In this case, they said medical attention could be given to no one on the Sabbath except in matters of life or death.

So if Jesus touched the man's withered arm and healed it, they would be able to accuse Him of violating their Sabbath law.

But Jesus knew exactly what they were doing. So He simply told the man to stretch out his hand. Jesus didn't touch him. So they couldn't accuse Jesus of "providing medical attention."

But rather than celebrating the miracle that took place before them in restoring the health of one of their sheep, they went away trying to plot how they could kill Jesus.

Think about the irony there for a minute. They were violating God's law by plotting to kill an innocent man for showing compassion, healing people, and sharing God's love.

If the world plotted against Jesus, it will plot against us too when we commit our lives to following Him. In fact, if we are in close relationship with the world, get ready for them to come after you, just like the Pharisees did against Jesus:

John 15:18-19 [18] If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. [19] If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

If we are following Jesus, we must expect persecution. In some cases we may even have to appear before courts and magistrates. But even in those cases, God promises to be right there with us, giving us the words to say to shine His light and bring Him glory:

Luke 12:11-12 [11] When they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not worry about how or what you are to speak in your defense, or what you are to say; [12] for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

Remember that God stepped off the throne, took on human flesh, and went through all of this for us. When the going gets tough, we can depend on Him to be there with us, giving us the words, and equipping us for the battle.

Dear Lord, The evil ones of this world want to take down anyone who is trying to faithfully follow You. But You have already overcome this world. So Lord, even in this we will trust You. Lord, guide us and direct us so that our actions and our words, always lift You up and bring You glory. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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