3 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Mark 3 KJV
In Mark 3, I watch Jesus walk free from fear of man. Completely impervious to it and relentlessly Good. I watch as He Himself is a witness: a witness of the Father, of Truth, of Healing, of Life. I watch Him heal and bring Life when “authorities” were watching to see how they could find reason to destroy Him.
The tradition of man cannot save. It is a good lesson for me. It is only Jesus.
How shocked some must have been when He completely recreates/renames family relationships at the end of Mark 3. I am sometimes a little shocked; I am sometimes a little free as I ponder His words, as I consider what it means to follow Jesus.
32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.
33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren?
34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren!
35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother. Mark 3 ESV
In Mark 3, I watch Jesus bound by the Father not by the fear of man or the traditions of man or the rules of man. I watch Him walk in love and light and life.
Mark 3 illuminates Romans 3. Jesus in the flesh walking out this truth: deeds of the law cannot justify. Faith alone justifies.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Romans 3 KJV
I ponder hard my own heart. Romans 3 clears the air.
9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Romans 3 KJV
Jew or Greek- our predicament is the same. “There is none righteous, no, not one.”
All are justified freely through faith in Christ.
And this is the only way. It is not through Sabbath observation or rule following. It is not through meticulous honor and respect of authorities and hierarchy. It is only through Christ. And I heed the warning calling to my heart, and the warning is to walk in the Spirit by faith in Christ alone. This is a humble posture; it is a dependent position; it is a faith-filled heart walk. The warning for me is that I need Jesus to rescue me from myself so that I do not remain as a blind one who cannot see; as a hardened one who is deceived to think that Good is Evil as Mark 3 so carefully reveals.
Lord, it is good to recognize that Your Spirit is Truth. It is good to ponder that redemption is found in You alone- not in deeds, not in heritage, not in culture, not in religious rule following, but in You. I pray You help me learn from Your words and walk with You. Please help me live for You and know clearly what that means for me personally. Thank You for this life You have given me. Let me know You in it, Lord- and know I am not alone. In Your Name, Amen.