Mark 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Today’s passage tells the story of Jesus entering the synagogue. He immediately noticed a man with a withered hand. This man’s physical infirmity moved Christ to compassion. Unfortunately, the religious leaders were simply calloused toward the man’s predicament. The Pharisees watched Jesus closely, not because they were pleased with His gracious act, but because they sought opportunity to accuse the Lord for breaking their man-made rules. As the Lord observed the crowd, the Pharisees’ hardened hearts grieved the Lord to the point of anger. Of course, the Lord knew their thoughts and first sought to reason with them. He did the very thing which the Pharisees hoped He would. The hearts of the religious leaders that should have been tender and welcoming to God’s miracles were instead full of pride and completely calloused. Christ’s acts of compassion served to further harden their deceitful hearts rather than softening them.
- (For children): God’s Spirit comes to live inside of those who accept Christ as Saviour. Ephesians 4:30 tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We grieve the Spirit when we do things that the Lord does not want us to do.
- (For everyone): Do you find joy when God’s Spirit works through you to do His will? Do you rejoice when God does something wonderful in the lives of those around you, or are you constantly finding fault in others?
- Look up the definition of the word “grieve.” Why do hardened hearts grieve the Lord? Why was He so angry when the Pharisees sought to accuse Him?
- Ask the Lord to help you rejoice in His work.
- Ask God to keep you from the sin of a hardened heart.
Song: My Faith Looks Up to Thee