Notes Mark 2 B- 3 A

Last week we looked at the healing of the paralyzed man and how when this man who had no strength of his own to get to Jesus was bore of 4 and it was their faith that Jesus worked with to deliver this man. 
We also saw the beginning of opposition to Jesus ministry.

1.How the Scribes and Pharisees accuse Jesus of blasphemy in their heart when he said to the paralyzed man; Thy sins be forgiven thee.  
2.Second they attempt to taint His reputation because He chooses to eat with publicans and sinners.
3.And the third confrontation where they accuse Him of lack of piety because neither He nor his disciples fast. 

This week we will see the opposition continue to increase as our Lord continues to try to show them the log in their own eyes and their fruitless attempt to remove the splinter for the eyes of others. 

Verse 2:23-24

And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? 

The question here about what was lawful was a question about the Sabbath not a question of picking someone else’s corn. God all the way back in Deuteronomy 23:25 had made provision for travelers who were hungry. 

When thou comest into thy neighbor's standing grain, then thou mayest pluck the ears with thy hand; but thou shalt not move a sickle unto thy neighbor's standing grain. 

So it wasn’t a question of picking the corn it was the day they picked the corn that the Pharisees objected to. However as you saw when you answered your question the Sabbath was made so that everyone would have a day of rest. It was a day to remember that even the Lord rested from his work after six days of creation. And also the Jews were to remember that they had been slaves and did not receive rest so God made provision for all to rest by making it a law. However over the years the Pharisees and other religious sects had added their interpretation of this law and had made what they considered work so strict that keeping the Sabbath had become a burden instead of the blessing God intended it to be. In fact things had gotten so strict that when Jesus and his disciples picked the ears of corn they had broken several traditions that the Pharisees had made a law. 

1. Plucking the corn was considered reaping. 
2. Separating the cornels would have been considered threshing,
3. And finally by doing this they were guilty of preparing a meal which constituted work. 

Verses 25-26

And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

Jesus answers their concerns by pointing them to what David did (who all religious leaders considered a righteous man) when he and his men were hungry and they ate the showbread which according to the law was not legal for them to eat. 

The Law: Exodus 25: 30, God told Moses: “And thou shalt set UPON THE TABLE SHEWBREAD before me always.”  And “shewbread,” in the original, means; “Bread of the Presence, Look at, or Upon Me, Meet With Me.” 

Matthew’s version on this event includes another answer to the Pharisees question that I want to take a look at.

Matthew 12:5-6

Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. 

The disciples of Jesus were hungry just like David and his men were hungry and when questioned about this Jesus points them to the eating of the showbread or the “Bread of the Presence”. Jesus in the sermon on the Mound said; Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
And then Jesus went on to point out that the priests worked in the temple on the Sabbath and were blameless and then added, that in this place is one greater than the temple.

Remember the disciples are on their way to the temple and they are hungry; they are not hungry because they crawled out of bed just in time to get to church and did not have time for breakfast. No, by Jesus' statement we can conclude the disciples had been “waiting” on the Lord, in prayer, in service of some sort. There work was In Christ and therefore they were blameless. 

The Matthew version goes on to say:

But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.

This is the second time Jesus has made this statement to the Pharisees. First in Matthew 9:13 which we saw in last weeks lesson when Jesus was eating with the publicans and sinners and now this week in Matthew 12:7.

Any time we see Jesus repeat something we need to pay attention. 

You had in your question a verse from Isaiah which deals with fasting; we should have looked at it last week but our lesson was already so long; I have put it of until now, because more than being about fasting, it is about trying to offer God a ritualistic sacrifice and not a heart of love and compassion. A law over mercy.  

I will have mercy…which is connected to God’s grace and not sacrifice which is connected to his law. 

Isaiah 58:1-14

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
  Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
  and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
2 For day after day they seek me out;
  they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
  and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
  and seem eager for God to come near them.
3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say, (Done works of sacrifice)
  ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
  and you have not noticed?’
“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
  and exploit all your workers.
4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
  and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
  and expect your voice to be heard on high.
5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
  only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
  and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
  a day acceptable to the LORD?
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
  and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
  and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
  and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
  and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
  and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
  and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
  you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
  with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
  and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
  and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
  he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
  and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
  like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
  and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
  Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

These are the sacrifices the Lord desires. It is not that we accept the Lord as our Savior and we get a free pass because of His grace. No, God does expect something out of us. Mercy, love compassion, giving of yourself to others, Not always thinking about your own needs, but the needs of others. If we will remember the needs of others, God will make sure our needs are met. 

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; healing in Hebrew means, Restoring to soundness, wholeness, perfected. 

then your righteousness (right standing with God) will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. Listen to the sound of relationship. The Lord desires to work with you to help other, He does not desire you to make weighty sacrifices to impress Him. 

The Lord goes on to say...Stop pointing fingers and gossiping our speaking ill of others. 
And spend YOURSELF That is what we see Jesus continually doing Spending Himself 

then your light will rise in the darkness,
  and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The LORD will guide you always;
  he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
  and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
  like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
  and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
  Restorer of Streets with Dwellings..  
Returning to Mark we read;

Mark 2: 27-28

And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.

I love this Jesus calls himself the Son of man. He is fully invested in becoming one with us. Jesus calls himself the Son of man 30 times just in the Book of Matthew. 

John 1:3

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made

John 1:10

He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

Jesus made the world, but he was invested in becoming one with us. The Son of man. 

Jesus is also letting them know that He is the one who instituted the Sabbath and therefore should know how it should be spent. 

Lord of the sabbath.

Man was created the day before God instituted a day of rest. God did not make a Sabbath and than create man to worship Him on that day. No, God created you and He created all mankind to fellowship with 24/7. It was in the heart of God to walk and talk with Adam in the garden in the cool of each day. 

But Jesus did tell us that God DID create the Sabbath for man. God instituted the Sabbath for it to be a blessing to us. 

1. God knows the body in which he created and He knows it needs rest. 

2. God is concerned with all men and He knows the hearts of some so in Deuteronomy 5:14 the Lord gives all men the right to rest. 

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy manservant and thy maidservant may rest as well as thou. 

3. God was not only concerned about our body but he was also concerned about our spirit and soul so the Sabbath was made a Holy day; a day to commune with God; to come and worship Him and receive strength from His presence and wisdom from His Word for the week ahead. 

Exodus 16:23

And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the Holy Sabbath unto the LORD.

Chapter 3

This next confrontation with the Pharisees in the temple on the same Sabbath day is a crucial turning point in Jesus ministry.

Verse 1 

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

I want you to notice that mans hand was withered. Rendered useless. (shriveled). 
Shriveled, dried up. I can't help but look at the spiritual picture this paints. This man is in church, he has come week after week, he is not sick, his condition will not kill him but he is rendered useless. 

Before I say this, I would like to clarify, I am not against the church, I am just against "church as usual" coming together to do our duty but it has just become a ritual...announcements, giving of tithe, 3 fast songs and 2 slow, a word and we are out of there. You can set your watch by the order of the service. 

Yet are thousands that go to church every week, they are dry, thirsty, in need of encouragement, love, compassion, but they receive condemnation, pointing of the finger...and they leave as dry and withered up as they came. 

BUT THINK GOD....THERE IS A FOUNTIAN 

We need to see Him, Experience Him. 

Jesus said; If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me. 

Lift Him UP!

Verse 2

And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

Notice the Pharisees and Scribes are watching Jesus. Not to see if He could heal the man but if He would heal him. 

Again this would be breaking the law according to their traditions. Anything short of preserving life was considered work. What they felt Jesus should do was to send the man away and let him come back another day to be healed because his problem was not life threatening. 

Obviously they knew this man was there because they were lying in wait to see what Jesus would do. How many years had this man come into the temple where God was to dwell, yet because of the hardness of those representing God this man left receiving nothing? 

But this day was different. This day in walks the King of Glory, our Wonderful Merciful Savior and He tells this man to Stand Forth. Get up, Get up, Get up out of your set. 

Verse 3

And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

This is the heart of our Lord, that we Get Up...Stand up. 

Get up our of despair, Get up our of depression, Get up out of poverty, Get up out of sickness. Get up out of the things that dry us up, zap our strength and cause us to become useless. 

Now we have never seen Jesus make a show of himself and He is not here. He is making a show of the Pharisees. 

Because after he tells the man to stand he turns and asks the Pharisees a question. 

Verse 4

And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

Notice that Jesus first asks the man to “stand forth”. Jesus wants the Pharisees to see the condition of the man. Maybe just maybe they might feel a little compassion. Look at him, don’t you want to help, don’t you want to see a change in his life. 

2. Jesus appeals to their heart. Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath days or to do evil?

Jesus knows what is in their heart; He is trying to expose it; to let them know he knows. 

Verse 5A

And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, 

Jesus was not just grieved with the hardness of their hearts; Jesus was angry. 

Here He was; the King of Glory….they knew that He was going to heal this man. But instead of rejoicing in the power and presence of God they bowed their neck and resisted all physical as well as spiritual evidence to the truth. 

I believe, Jesus was not just angry at the actions of the Pharisees, but He is angry at the situation. That the Pharisees are blind and can not see. 

It is the fulfillment of Isaiah 6:9-10 which is also quoted in Acts 28:27

For the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.

Jesus came to seek and save that which was lost and that went for the Pharisees and Scribes as well and it made him angry to see their unbelief that would keep them for entering into His Kingdom. 

Have you ever tried to get someone to see truth...and they just could not see...they are so blinded by the powers of darkness, they can not see. Yes you might be angry with the person but more you are angry with the situation. 

Zachariah 13:6  And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. 


Verse 5B


he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Jesus says…Stretch forth that which is withered…Stretch forth that old withered relationship… Stretch forth that old withered heart….Stretch forth that hand which is quick to make a fist…Stretch forth and reach out to Jesus and He will make you whole. 

Remember the question Jesus asked the Pharisees before he healed the man.

Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill?

I don't believe Jesus was just talking about healing the man with the withered arm, Jesus already knew what was in their heart,...to do evil, to kill. 

Verse 6

And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.

They did not want Jesus to heal on the Sabbath but they could plot to destroy him…because he broke their rules.  
I want you to notice that Mark draws our attention to the alignment of two opposite groups against Jesus. 

1. The Pharisees-Meaning: separatists (Hebrew: persahin, from parash, “to separate”)
They were the pious religious leaders of the day and in every other situation were greatly opposed to any alignment with the Herodians.
2. The Herodians A Jewish political party who sympathized with the Herodian rulers in their general policy of government, and in the social customs which they introduced from Rome. They also supported Herod as their king. 
These two groups represented the most powerful Jewish religious leaders and the most powerful Jewish political leaders in alignment against the King of Glory. 
Both out of fear of a loss of power. When you lay down the law you loss power over people. To walk in mercy makes you vulnerable and these men did not want to feel vulnerable, they wanted power, power over others. 

Micah 6:8

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

What will you chose today...the law, rituals, pointing fingers, ruling over others, having to have it Your Way. 

Or will you chose humility, loveh, mercy, grace.