Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mark, Chapter 3

I woke up this morning asking myself the question, “How can I view my situation differently?” I recently got myself into a difficult, but not untenable, situation professionally. It is a situation hat has made me feel like lashing out, though I haven’t because I realize that it would accomplish nothing. The situation itself is already making me incredibly tense, causing stress that is far from needed. Jumping to conclusions and going off would only make matters worse in the sense that I may not have a job much longer after that. I was faced with two choices this morning: I could fight it, or I could deal with it.

At the beginning of Mark 3, we see the Pharisees facing a similar choice. Jesus was preaching in the synagogue, and they were far from comfortable with it. In a way, they were spoiling for a fight. They were looking to confront Jesus, making them deaf to the message he was preaching. In doing so, they completely missed the point because they were focused solely on themselves.

4Then 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.

5He 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. 6Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. – Mark 3:4-6

In my situation, as the Pharisees did in this situation, we both missed the point of the demonstration. I am missing the point of being where I am currently at because I am obviously supposed to learn some sort of lesson before moving on. The Pharisees failed to learn the lesson necessary here, that being that Jesus was here to change things, including the Sabbath. As we saw in yesterday’s lesson, they were more caught up in maintaining the status quo than learning. I am guilty of the same thing when I put my own agenda ahead of what is asked of me. Therefore, I must ask this morning, how I can view the situation differently.

13Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14He appointed twelve—designating them apostles—that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach. – Mark 3:13-14

I am a fan of this passage because it is so simple, yet so important. The very reason that we have a Christian faith is because of this passage. Jesus selected each of these men for a purpose, and that purpose would echo down throughout the centuries to the present day. Jesus knew at the time of their selection that He would only have a very short time with them. In that time, He had to prepare them for what they would do after His death and resurrection. Not only would they act as his associate pastors during His earthly ministry, they would go on to build the church we have today.

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