Drinking Deeply

Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 6:55 PM

Jesus Christ, Punk

Over and over throughout the Gospel of Mark, Jesus not only flouts established "traditions" and rejects man-made laws, but actually actively goes out and acts in a manner that he knows will get him in trouble.

This in in particular struck me yesterday -

Mark 3
3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, [1] to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
The Pharisees watch Jesus to see if he would "break" (according to their traditions) the Sabbath. And what does he do? All the other times he pulls the crippled man out of the crowd, away from everyone else and acts in secret (almost), telling the man not to tell anyone. But this time, he gets everyone's attention by summoning the man in front of everyone and asking the Pharisees a question.

And what happens? The Pharisees are so blinded by their tradition they don't even know what the right thing to do is. Their hearts are hard.

So what does Christ do with hardened hearts that are ready to execute someone who breaks the Sabbath? Does he pull them aside and explain how actually, doing good on the Sabbath is a good thing and not a bad thing? Does he sit patiently so as not to cause other people to "stumble" to heal on Sunday instead of Saturday?

Of course not, "stretch out your hand" and stumbling pharisees who want to execute him be damned (literally!). Ba-bam!

Yeah, often we are to be patient, but sometimes we just ought to get angry when they ought to know better.


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