INTRO: For the faithful Jews the sabbath was a very important day. Observing the sabbath was ordained in the ten commandments. Over time, however, two things happened historically. There were those periods in Jewish history when the sabbath was ignored, profaned. Then, there came that time when the sabbath was burdened with so many man made rules that it lost its God given purpose. Jesus came into the latter of those periods of time. It was obvious, almost from the beginning of His public ministry, that the sabbath would become a point of serious controversy with the Jews who honored man made traditions at the expense of the revealed will of God. So, in our study from the gospel of Mark this evening we see Jesus healing a man on the sabbath.
I. THE SABBATH AND THE SYNAGOGUE ... AGAIN
A. The previous incident in Mark's gospel had occurred on the sabbath
1. that incident involved the issue of His disciples plucking grain to eat
2. my supposition is that the first incident may well have transpired in or around the synagogue
B. So, Jesus returns to the synagogue on another sabbath day
1. on the sabbath Jesus' custom was to go to the synagogue (Lk 4:16)
2. according to the law of Moses, Jesus honored the sabbath
II. IN THE SYNAGOGUE WAS A MAN WITH A WITHERED HAND
A. It may be necessary to look at three gospel accounts to "get the picture"
1. in Matthew's account the Pharisees ask Him a question (Mt 12:10)
2. in Markand Luke it is Jesus Who asks a question (Mk 3:4)
3. putting these together gives us a picture of their probably calling attention to the man and asking their question in view of His previous teaching about the sabbath ... are there ulterior motives here? likely
B. The man with the withered hand?
1. we are not told what had caused his hand to shrivel
2. Lk 6:6 tells us it was the man's right hand which was affected
3. significance? if the man was right handed (probably was), his ability to earn a living was very likely minimized severely ... a compassionate case
III. THE OPPOSITION
A. The Pharisees were watching Him
1. the word "watch" means to scrutinize, to watch carefully
2. the use of this word puts Jesus "under the microscope"
3. were all the Pharisees of this mind set? no, but apparently most were
B. Lk 6:7 - Here is why they were watching Him
1.they are actively seeking a way they can bring charges against Him
2.remember, violating the sabbath was a capital crime among the Jews
3.so, they are, as we might say, "setting Jesus up" here
IV. THEIR QUESTION - HIS QUESTIONS
A. Their question concerned lawfulness of healing on the sabbath
1. their many sabbath regulations forbade healing on the sabbath
2. thus, the question at Mt 12:10 had the background of man made law
3. absolutely nothing in Moses' law would forbid healing
B. Notice how Jesus turns the question upon them
1. is it lawful to do good or to do evil? to save a life or to kill?
2. Mt 12:11:12 - Jesus uses their own practices to show it is right to do good on Sabbath days - their own inconsistencies were too obvious
3. for them to have answered His question would have been their own condemnation of themselves - so, "they held their peace"
4. Jas 4:17 becomes relevant at this point!
V. HOW JESUS RESPONDED?
A. He is angry, and He is grieved
1. His anger is moral indignation because of their hardened hearts
2. His grief is also because of their hardened hearts
3. their hearts they had closed to God's truth by their own traditions/laws
B. He openly healed the man's withered hand - He is Lord of the sabbath!
1. notice that Mark says, "His hand was restored whole as the other"
2. rehab was not necessary ... this was the nature of Jesus' miracles
3. what should have been an occasion of joy to all was not, however
C. Mk 3:6 - the Pharisees immediately sought a way to "destroy him"
1. and they took counsel with their enemies, the Herodians!
2. when we want to find a way to justify ourselves or to do a wrong thing, we may find ourselves in company we would not otherwise consider
3. the dye is cast ... the confrontation is now on track!
CLOSE: Oh, how careful we need to be about tradition. Tradition is not always a bad thing. But when it gets in the way of God's will and way, it is a bad thing. Defending tradition at all costs will invariable put us at odds with truth.
Cecil A. Hutson
17 September 2006
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)