In his epistle written around A.D. 66, John Mark began his letter by introducing John The Baptist, God’s messenger by describing how his role was to announce the coming of the Messiah, and baptize Him in the Jordan River so Jesus could fulfill all righteousness, and be identify with those He came to redeem.
After He was baptized, Christ was tested by Satan in the wilderness for forty days but the Messiah persevered and resisted temptation as He prepared for His ministry, which He started in Galilee while John The Baptist was imprisoned for rebuking Herod Antipas.
The Lord’s ministry began along the Sea of Galilee where He recruited His first four apostles, Simon, Andrew, James and John, who were all fishermen from Capernaum, a small fishing village located on the northern shore of the lake. This was the location where Jesus performed His first recorded miracle when He healed a possessed man, delivering him from a demon. Jesus followed His first miracle with another when He miraculously healed Simon’s mother in law who was gravely ill, then as word spread about these healings, the entire population of the city gathered outside the house door where Jesus answered the call to heal the sick.
Then, Jesus embarked on a missionary journey through the region which eventually lead him back to Capernaum where He furthered His ministry through preaching and healing the sick.
“1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.” (Mark 3:1-2)
The Sabbath was a day of rest which God created for both Himself as well as for man, and in the days of Jesus, various Mosaic laws surrounded the seventh day of the week. One of those laws forbade anyone to work less they should sin against God. However, another law superceded the “no toiling on the Sabbath” law which permitted travelers who did not have food to eat to take from the fields enough grain, in this case corn to satisfy their hunger.
The Pharisees paid great attention to Jesus whom they considered their enemy. And on this day of rest, their laws did not allow anyone to work which included healing the sick.
“3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent.” (Mark 3:3-4)
Next, Jesus confronted the Pharisees about their laws regarding the Sabbath, questioning them about God’s intent for the Sabbath which focused on rest independently of one’s intentions, making this special day of the week a day like all others when the will to do good should overcome the desire to sin and do evil.
“5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.” (Mark 3:5-6)
Because it was His mission to heal the sick and guide the lost, Jesus healed the man’s hand even though the Mosaic Law forbade Him to do so, which prompted an opposition by the Pharisees and the Herodians, a secular group named after Herod Antipas that strongly supported the Roman Empire.
Together, the Pharisees and Herodians began plotting against Jesus and those who followed Him, with the ultimate goal to kill Him and extinguish the powerful spiritual flame that was quickly overtaking Judea. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives,
We praise you Lord for the wisdom found through the gospel of Mark,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we continue to learn more about you through your word.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your ways, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre