Theme of the Week: Following Christ’s Example
Bible Verse: Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. Mark 3:4
Scripture Reading: Mark 3:1-6
Maybe if Jesus had taken a course on conflict resolution, he would have realized that there was actually a very simple — nice — solution to his dispute with the Pharisees over doing miracles on the Sabbath. All he had to do was wait until sundown when the Sabbath ended, and then perform his miracle. The person gets healed and the Pharisees can’t complain. And that is actually what they expected Jesus to do. In Luke 13:14, Jesus is chastised for healing a woman who for eighteen years had been crippled: “Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’”
But Jesus will have none of that. In Mark 2:27, he declares Himself “the Lord of the Sabbath.” The Sabbath exists because it is and remains His creation. In other words, the Lord has authority over the Sabbath; the Sabbath has no authority over him.
In this verse, Jesus sums up His entire ministry in just two words: “do good.” That covers everything Jesus came to earth to do… heal the sick, cast out demons, declare the kingdom of God, go to the cross and tear down the wall of sin that separated us from God. Everything Jesus did was for our good and for His Father’s glory.
So how can we “do good” in ways that glorify God? One way is to put into action all the “one anothers” in Scripture, such as encourage one another, instruct one another, accept one another, serve one another, submit to one another, forgive one another, show humility toward one another, offer hospitality to one another, and above all, love one another. As Jesus says in Matthew 5:16, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
It’s much easier for Christ-followers to act nice instead of seeking justice and showing mercy or simply being someone’s friend. “‘Nice’ can’t confront this world’s sources of pain the way Jesus did and commanded us to do as well,” Paul Coughlin writes in his book, No More Christian Nice Guy. “Niceness makes people agreeable, but not good. Somehow we have mistaken niceness for righteousness…”
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