Today’s Word of Promise

markEveryday, I do a 4-mile aerobic walk. It takes me one hour. I listen to my Word of Promise Bible while I walk.

Today, I listened to Matthew 24 through Mark 5.

In the end of Matthew, I listened to Christ’s arrest and crucifixion. Having the sound effects really adds to the experience of reading what’s happening. It was such a strong message.

The part that stood out to me today came from the beginning of Mark 3:

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 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.  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. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. Mark 3:1-6

I’ve heard or read this passage countless times in my life. I knew what it said and I knew the context for what was said. So, when it started, in my mind, I imagined that Christ was belligerent and a little aggressive in healing the withered hand of the man.

Until I heard the words being grieved by the hardness of their hearts. He wasn’t being belligerent OR aggressive. He was giving them an opportunity to understand that doing good, that saving lives, is vitally important. But, they didn’t care about the human being with the withered hand. What they cared about was catching Him doing something that would give them an opportunity to accuse Him and thereby end the threat to them that was Christ Jesus. When their hearts remained hardened, it hurt Him. It grieved Him.

How many opportunities has He given me to set aside the things that I place as important above the things He places as important? How many times has the hardness in my heart grieved Him? What can I do to go forward today and see individual people as Christ sees them and metaphorically heal withered hands on the Sabbath instead of choosing to serve my own means toward my own ends?

May God bless you and bless your day. Find a word of God speak to you today.


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