HOW TO PRO-LIFE
Mark 3:1-6;5:21-43;10:13-16 1/17/2010
There are three traditional interpretations of Jesusâ€™ meaning. (1) Man must be concerned with relieving the distress of others. (2) Godâ€™s will is best served by healing rather than plotting to kill, as the Pharisees were doing . (3) Jesus is committed to destroying Satanâ€™s disfiguring works every day.Rightly understood, no command of God prevents us from doing good to others by meeting crying needs.
Popular theology twisted the O.T.â€™s teaching that God would bless the obedient with wealth and assumed that the mere possession of wealth was evidence of closeness to God. Besides, a man with wealth could give alms and gifts to the temple, offer multiplied sacrifices, and thus commend himself to God. Jesusâ€™ disciples were confused when Christ warned that the rich, who tend to rely on their riches, have great difficulty entering Godâ€™s kingdom. The poor, who abandon reliance on their own efforts to throw themselves on Godâ€™s mercy, are much better off.
(Mark 3:3-5) He said to the man with the crippled hand, â€œStand here where we can see you.â€
4 Then he spoke to the people: â€œWhat kind of action suits the Sabbath best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?â€ No one said a word. 5 He looked them in the eye, one after another, angry now, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, â€œHold out your hand.â€ He held it outâ€”it was as good as new!
This manâ€™s case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so, are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that cannot help themselves. But stubborn infidels, when they can say nothing against the truth, yet will not yield. We hear what is said amiss, and see what is done amiss; but Christ looks at the root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of that, and is grieved. Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the healing power is of Christ. The gospel command is like that recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not healed. But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must have all the glory.
(Mark 5:33-42) The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.34Jesus said to her, â€œDaughter, you took a risk of faith, and now youâ€™re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague. 35While he was still talking, some people came from the leaderâ€™s house and told him, â€œYour daughter is dead. Why bother the Teacher any more?â€36Jesus overheard what they were talking about and said to the leader, â€œDonâ€™t listen to them; just trust me.â€ 37He permitted no one to go in with him except Peter, James, and John. 38They entered the leaderâ€™s house and pushed their way through the gossips looking for a story and neighbors bringing in casseroles. 39Jesus was abrupt: â€œWhy all this busybody grief and gossip? This child isnâ€™t dead; sheâ€™s sleeping.â€ 40Provoked to sarcasm, they told him he didnâ€™t know what he was talking about.
But when he had sent them all out, he took the childâ€™s father and mother, along with his companions, and entered the childâ€™s room. 41He clasped the girlâ€™s hand and said, â€œ Talitha koum ,â€ which means, â€œLittle girl, get up.â€ 42At that, she was up and walking around! This girl was twelve years of age. They, of course, were all beside themselves with joy.
We may suppose Jairus hesitating whether he should ask Christ to go on or not, when told that his daughter was dead. But have we not as much occasion for the grace of God, and the comfort of his Spirit, for the prayers of our ministers and Christian friends, when death is in the house, as when sickness is there? Faith is the only remedy against grief and fear at such a time. Believe the resurrection, then fear not. He raised the dead child to life by a word of power. Such is the gospel call to those who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. It is by the word of Christ that spiritual life is given. All who saw it, and heard of it, admired the miracle, and Him that wrought it. Though we cannot now expect to have our dead children or relatives restored, we may hope to find comfort under our trials.
(Mark 10 :14-16)The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: â€œDonâ€™t push these children away. Donâ€™t ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. 15Mark this: Unless you accept Godâ€™s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, youâ€™ll never get in.â€ 16Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them.
Some parents or nurses brought little children to Christ, that he should touch them, in token of his blessing them. It does not appear that they needed bodily cures, nor were they capable of being taught: but those who had the care of them believed that Christâ€™s blessing would do their souls good; therefore they brought them to him. Jesus ordered that they should be brought to him, and that nothing should be said or done to hinder it. Children should be directed to the Saviour as soon as they are able to understand his words. Also, we must receive the kingdom of God as little children; we must stand affected to Christ and his grace, as little children to their parents, nurses, and teachers.
When His anxious and upset family arrives, Jesus stuns His listeners by identifying Himself with a new family God is creating from those who do the will of God .
Markâ€™s swift sequence of miracle upon miracle, each underlining another aspect of Christâ€™s authority, demonstrates unmistakably that Jesus is the Son of God.
We cannot out give God. Whatever we give up for His sake, we will receive back multiplied. Even if what we surrender is family, the relationships we build in Godâ€™s new community will be better.
God Bless My Friend
Robert G O’Haver