Kingdom Causing Offense
Pray by giving God permission to offend you, to blow your understanding of him wide open and show you something new.
Read Mark 3:1-6
 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.  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.  Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”  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.  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.  Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy were his enemies watching Jesus so closely this day?
Jesus’ radically new declaration of the kingdom of God was both profoundly good news and profoundly offensive. Of those who encountered Jesus, some were healed and set free, others left plotting murder. Again, Jesus confronts the deeply ingrained legalism of the Pharisees about the Sabbath. Yesterday’s verses showed Jesus and his disciples picking grain to feed themselves on the Sabbath. Today’s show how the Pharisees consider it better for a man to remain disabled than to be healed on the Sabbath. They really had got their priorities wrong. Jesus confronts them directly (4): will they choose good or evil, saving or killing? They choose killing! Jesus himself is deeply disturbed by the response (5). God is a God of life, generosity, healing. Jesus’ mission was to reveal the Father (John 14:9). In his way of life, his ministry and his death and resurrection he showed us the Father’s true nature of love and freedom. We, too, can sometimes behave as though God were more interested in rules than in people. When we do, God’s true nature is hidden from the world.
In what ways are you living to reveal, not obscure, the true and loving nature of God? How could you do even more?
Ask God to reveal any of your misconceptions of him and show his goodness to those around you.
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