He Was Grieved

Today's devotion from Mark 3. Jesus entered the synagogue again when He meets a man with a withered hand. Does the text imply that he had been brought there by the Pharisees? I'm not sure, but, in any case, they were watching Jesus interact with this man, not because they hoped the man could be healed and made whole, but because they hoped Jesus might cross an invisible line created by their own twisted torturing of Scripture.

This was more than Jesus could take. He had created mankind in His image, but sin had mangled His creation so severely that they were void of the compassion that He Himself demonstrated time and again. He looked and saw a human being in pain, in desperate need of the healing He could offer, while His own people saw only a trap by which they might overcome a political opponent.

He tried to get them to understand. The man was brought before them. Look at him. Jesus wanted to let them gain one glimpse of humanity, but they refused. They stiffened their necks. They hardened their hearts. He tried a different path. If they wouldn't see the humanity of the man, maybe they would see the compassion of the Law? So, He questioned them, but they would not answer.

Their silence was their answer. They weren't interested in God, or the Law, or the man in front of them. They were interested in winning. Jesus was an adversary, and His growing fame was an obstacle opposing their own.

I'm afraid that many among us are following in their footsteps. People have become so invested in winning a debate and siding for a party that they often fail to see the wounded, hurting person in front of them. Don't harden your heart. Don't be so concerned with winning the argument that you lose the meaning.