Angry Christ: Mark 3:1-6: A man with a withered hand
The scribes and Pharisees, the religious leaders of Israel, set up a test to see whether Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, so they could accuse him. The religious leaders didn’t care about the man with the withered hand. They had no compassion for him. They wanted to use him to accuse Christ. They only cared about their rules. They added hundreds of rules to the Sabbath ‘do-not-work’ commandment. When God gave the Sabbath commandment he never added a rule that nobody can be healed on the Sabbath. Religious people are compelled to make rules that obscure the mercy and grace of God.
Jesus accepted their test. He healed the man right in front of them. The religious leaders never even asked where the healing power came from. It had to come from God. Satan doesn’t heal broken people. If it came from God, then God was healing through Christ. If God was healing through Christ, then the rules of the religious leaders were idolatry. Their rules were like barnacles growing all over the hull of a boat or barnacles covering the rock of God’s commandment.
Jesus was angry. It must have been holy anger because Christ was sinless. Christ as God in the flesh displayed the anger of God at religious idolatry. Jesus was grieved at their hardness of heart. Mercy and grace are always grieved by the hard hearts of religious people.
Questions: Does the same religious spirit that resisted Christ in the synagogue exist in the church today? If it does, then what does it look like and how does it obscure mercy and grace?