“And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”
Mark 3:5 (ESV)
It might surprise us, but Jesus got angry when others tried to prevent his love in action.
In the above passage we see what, at first glance, appears to be Jesus out of character. I remember singing the hymn, Gentle Jesus, meek and mild…Thou shalt my example be – maybe you know it too – but here we see a different Jesus. He gets angry! What kind of example is that? Read the whole story in Mark 3:1-6.
What if we give some Pharisees the benefit of the doubt for once? It might have been that most of them were trying to trap Jesus, but what if a few of them were sincere in their desire to please God and to honour him in all that they did? What made Jesus so annoyed when they reminded him of the Sabbath commandment? Was he upset with their customs and laws? And/or with their attitudes?
Charities can often be frustrated by overbearing bureaucracy. Once we sent famine relief to needy people abroad, but foreign officials delayed the process so much that in the end it was too late. Could this give us a clue about how Jesus felt? The man with the withered hand was in need. Jesus was about to respond when he got interrupted by the Pharisees. When religious practices harm others and/or they get in the way of Jesus’ work of daily and eternal salvation, does Jesus get angry?
Let’s not let our dearly held views, lifestyles and choices prevent the gracious love of Jesus flowing through us to those who need it. Don’t let them get in the way of Jesus.
Let’s be a help, not a hindrance, when it comes to doing God’s work in Christ Jesus.
Father, help me not to get in the way of the work of Jesus. Rather let your love to others flow freely wherever I go.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. This weekend James is speaking at our SEP site (sepuk.org) and at our Glasgow church. SEP is a two-week summer activity camp that takes place on the bank of Loch Lomond, Scotland. It is sponsored and run by the Worldwide Church of God UK, a part of Grace Communion International. The camp is Christian in ethos but accepts campers from all denominations and faiths, or from none.
For more information about S.E.P. visit www.sepuk.orgYou are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.