by Duane Bemis

Hardness of Hearts
Duane Bemis
Isaiah 61:1-4

"Lord Jesus, open to us Your teachings of truth found in the book of Mark. Lord, I do not want a hard or critical heart in the matters of Your Kingdom business. Teach us, guide us, and give us Your wisdom in this matter. Amen."

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. Mark 3:1-2 NKJV

Jesus is in the local meeting place of God's people, the synagogue. In the synagogue Jesus sees a person in bondage to his physical limitations. The man has a withered hand, a hand that was useless, and Jesus wants to free Him. Yet God's people, religious people, look with a critical spirit and a hard heart to see what Jesus is going to do against their man-made rules, and according to their man-made rules you cannot heal on the Sabbath. Why do religious people do this? Why do so many church people today come with their critical spirit seeking ways to pick apart God's servants?

As you can see, nothing has changed. Jesus had to deal with this problem and we will have to deal with fault-finding attitudes. But let us see how Jesus handled the fault finders and let us see how they respond to Jesus, knowing that these fault finders will respond to us in the same manner. Let us read on in our selected chapter of Mark:

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 3:3-6 NKJV

Nothing stops Jesus from setting people f ...

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