Tuesday after the First Sunday after the Epiphany of our Lord
Posted on January 11, 2022 byunder
Scripture: St. Mark 3:1-6 (NKJV)
3:1 And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, 2 “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
“Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they kept silent.”
The Pharisees missed the point of God’s commandments. God had forbidden work on the Sabbath that man might devote one day each week to hearing and learning God’s Word, for considering His ways and His promises (cf. Exo. 20:8-11; Isa. 58:13-14). While the Pharisees were sticklers about avoiding work, they failed to see it was God’s will that they devote the day to considering God’s ways and doing His works.
What is God’s work? We learn from God’s commandment against murder that He also requires love and doing good to our neighbor (cf. Exo. 20:13; Rom. 13:9-10). “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” The God-pleasing thing to do was, in love, to help this man and heal his infirmity.
A question for us to consider is whether we ever miss the point of God’s Word and become legalistic about our outward obedience to a commandment of God, but miss the true point of the commandment. In Christ’s Word and example we have His holy guidance!
Prayer: O Lord, we beseech Thee mercifully to receive the prayers of Thy people who call upon Thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.