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Jesus the Healer

Mark 3.1-6
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 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. 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. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus went into the synagogue to worship, and while He was there He deliberately healed a man. Certainly He could have waited one more day, but He wanted to challenge the pharisaical legalistic traditions. This time the Pharisees were expecting Him to heal, so they kept their eyes wide open. Our Lord’s questions in Mark 3.4 were never answered by His enemies. Since evil is at work every day, including the Sabbath day, why should good not be at work as well? Death is always at work, but that should not hinder us from seeking to save life.

Jesus could see the hardness of their hearts, and their sin made Him angry and sad. Our Lord never became angry at the publicans and sinners, but He did express anger toward the self-righteous Pharisees (see Matthew 23). They would rather protect their traditions than see a man healed! The man, of course, knew little about this spiritual conflict. He simply obeyed our Lord’s command, stretched out his hand, and was healed.

Every religion has a way to try to make sick people well. Some use potions, dances, and magical offerings; others deny sickness altogether and declare everyone healthy. Jesus healed with a simple word. Nothing fancy or dramatic. No fireworks; no elaborate emotional preparation; no hype. Christians should not despise medical science because all knowledge is a gift of God. But when we pray for healing, the only requirement is faith that God will command the body’s chemistry according to His will. God’s power does not need a grandiose stage set. Beware of the healer who comes to town with publicity agents. If you’re sick, get to the Healer who merely gives a word. He is Jesus.

Pastor Jeff
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