Yesterday as we were reading Mark 3:1-6 which talked about how the religious leaders watched Jesus to see if He would heal a man with a withered hand I thought about some people in the church I used to attend. They would sit in the pews on the Sabbath, not paying attention to the service but watching people to see what they were doing.
My soul-mate mentioned that one Sabbath, an elder told him that she noticed him holding my hand. We were sitting in the row in front of her. Actually, we were not holding hands. I was simply resting my on top of his. It seemed as if what we were doing was more interesting than the sermon.
The religious leaders watched Jesus like a hawk to catch doing something they considered to be wrong instead and 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. My soul-mate did not say anything to the elder but he was amazed that she more preoccupied with him instead of focusing on the reason why she was in church in the first place. I personally think she was upset seeing my soul-mate and me together because she had her heart set on matching him up with her daughter.
The religious leaders were upset to see Jesus heal on the Sabbath and they plotted against them. How many people are like these leaders? They go to church not to learn God’s Word but to watch and criticize people. God requires that His holy day of worship be a delight. Jesus made the day a delight for the man whose hand He restored. The religious leaders tried to make the Sabbath a burden for others by teaching a lot of dos and donts. They begrudged Jesus who ministered to the needs of the people. How could they imagine that Jesus, the Creator would not heal people just because it was the Sabbath? The Sabbath was a day of rest from secular work not from charitable deeds.
We ought to go to church to feed our minds with God’s Word, lift our voices in praises and thanksgiving and encourage our fellow believers. We are to build each other up not tear each other down. We are to mind the things of God not other people’s business. Let us not harden our hearts like the religious leaders in Jesus’ time did. Let the Holy Spirit not the flesh dictate our thoughts and actions. Let us like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus (Romans 15:5).