Silence is not always golden. They were looking for a way to trap Jesus. Should one heal on the Sabbath? What is your position on this Jesus? Jesus did what he often did – asked a question, turned the table. What do you say? How do you interpret the Law?
Mark records the response of those gathered in the synagogue with four simple words: “But they remained silent.” A man stood before them with a shriveled hand. The one person in the world who could help him was also present. The question was not if he could heal the man but if he would heal on the Sabbath.
Jesus, angered by their lack of response, does what needs to be done, “Stretch out your hand.” It was restored. The man was now able to become an active part of the community again. This should be a time for joy and celebration. However, the Pharisees go out to seek ways to kill Jesus. (Mk.3:8)
Rather than join in celebrating they go out to find ways to stop the process. We can't have this man going around healing people – well, at least not on the wrong day! This is not how life is supposed to work. This is not how we understand the Law. Rather than celebrate they seek to distort the truth – we must silence this man.
We have not changed. When confronted with tough questions, we often remain silent. When the popular or at least the vocal majority speak and we don't agree – we remain silent. Health care reform – we don't want it – it scares us. We listen to lies rather than seek the truth – and we remain silent. The man/woman/child stands before us with a withered hand – we know what we should do – we know the right thing that should be done – but, there are some who don't think so – and so we remain silent.|
I imagine Jesus would have the same response today that he had then, “He looked at them in anger and deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts...”(3:5 NIV). We want to know more about the man and why his hand was withered. We want to know if he deserves to be healed. We fail to see a child of God standing in need and a call to the people of God to step in and meet the need.
We say we stand in the name of Jesus. But what did Jesus do? He went against the Law – he healed on the Sabbath. It got him in trouble – but, so what. If we fail to speak, if we too keep silent and lives are lost that would be or could be saved, whose fault is it?
As tough as this question is to answer, it is even tougher to ask. “It is lawful to heal?” Maybe the question is still the same – not if we can heal but if we will heal.
September 6 – Communion
Proverbs 22:1-2, 8-9, 22-23
“Outside the Box”
Proverbs1:20-33; Mark 8:27-38
“Who do you say He is?”
Jeremiah 11:18-20; Mark 9:30-37
Psalm 19:7-14; Mark 9:38-50
“Salt & Peace”
Can You Help?
We need some volunteers to help in various aspects of our church life. Volunteer!
Scripture Readers for Sunday Morning*
Lay Leaders for Sunday Morning*
Sound Technician Sunday Morning (paid)*
Help with Evergreen Annual Meeting (hosts)**
Help with cleaning and preparation for Evergreen Annual meeting**
*See Jim Erickson - training is available!!!