by: carole l. haines
He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. 2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 He *said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” 4 And He *said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He *said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. .7 Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples. (Mark 3:1-7 NASB)
Jesus noticed a man with a withered hand and wanted to heal Him. It happened to be the Sabbath Day, and they (The Pharisees), were doing the following:
- watching Him
- Seeking to accuse Him
- Conspiring to destroy Him
Have you ever been under that kind of pressure from other people? It’s amazing to me, just how cruel people can be toward each other. Jealousy, envy, strife, hostility, manipulation; all of these can drive people to do horrific things to one another, like conspiring to destroy them, or their reputation.
But there is another side to this coin, how we think about ourselves. I have found, for myself and many other people, that we do far more damage through self-accusations, fear, and comparing ourselves to others. But whether that pressure is coming from within, or without, Jesus gives us the example here, of just how to handle this kind of judgment and ill-treatment.
First, He asked them leading questions, so that in answering them, they would accuse themselves. He did not accuse them of anything, but left that up to God.
Second, He was angry, but He controlled that anger, and yielded only to the Will of His Father in Heaven. Jesus was genuinely grieved at the actions of the Herodians and Pharisees. He cared about them too.
Thirdly, He just continued to do what He knew was the right thing to do, despite the pressure and judgment from those around Him. He healed this precious man, and restored to him his ability to use His hand. He didn’t let what others thought of Him control what He did, that’s huge. Too often, I have flinched at continuing in something, because of fear and judgment from others.
And Fourthly, He withdrew from it, to a quiet place, with safe people. He didn’t retaliate, He didn’t accuse, He didn’t try to vindicate Himself. He just withdrew after dong the right thing.
What at precious example to us, our Lord Jesus is. He can truly teach us how to live under pressure and remain true to the Lord. Jesus leads us, so often, by how He handles situations and people. Thank You, Jesus, and please make me more and more like You every day.