From Pastor Perry

Mark 3:1–6 (ESV)
A Man with a Withered Hand
3 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. 2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 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. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Jesus is aware that people are watching and trying to set him up.  You get the feeling that today’s reading is a set up.  The Pharisees are in the synagogue with a man who has a withered hand.  They are waiting for to see how Jesus responds.  Little do they know, that Jesus is God and he knows what they are thinking.  So Jesus feeds them to their desires.  Look at the grammar and you will see that Jesus says “Come here” to the man with the withered hand, but he says to “them”.  You see Jesus calling the man, but turning to them to address them directly.  The question is not to the withered hand man, but to the Pharisees.  He asks: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”  They didn’t answer... they remained silent.  So to tick them off... Jesus healed him.  What he did was good, he restored the mans hand.  No one could deny this, but the Pharisees are more intent on destroying Jesus to understand his teaching point.  Are you willing to listen to Jesus with an open mind, or are you going to hold on to some pre-judgements?

I pray: O Lord, help me to always approach you with an open mind and to allow the Holy Spirit to guide and shape me according to your Word.  Amen.

Mark 2:23–28 (ESV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Pharisees use the Law to attack Jesus for doing something he is not supposed to do.  You are not to pluck heads of grain on the Sabbath.  Jesus responds back that David (King of Israel) at the show bread when he wasn’t supposed to, under the Authority that he is King.  Jesus is making the claim that he is plucking the grain under the Divine Authority that he is the Messiah.  Jesus tells them that the Sabbath was made for man, but that they were slaves to Sabbath laws.  The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.

I pray: O Lord, I confess that to often I get caught up in rules and regulations and become slaves to them.  Help set me straight when I have made a wrong turn and help me to not be a slave to the law, but to trust in your Divine Authority as the Messiah, the Creator of the World.  Forgive me and restore me.  Amen.

Mark 2:23–28 (ESV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”

The Pharisees use the Law to attack Jesus for doing something he is not supposed to do.  You are not to pluck heads of grain on the Sabbath.  Jesus responds back that David (King of Israel) at the show bread when he wasn’t supposed to, under the Authority that he is King.  Jesus is making the claim that he is plucking the grain under the Divine Authority that he is the Messiah.  Jesus tells them that the Sabbath was made for man, but that they were slaves to Sabbath laws.  The Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.

I pray: O Lord, I confess that to often I get caught up in rules and regulations and become slaves to them.  Help set me straight when I have made a wrong turn and help me to not be a slave to the law, but to trust in your Divine Authority as the Messiah, the Creator of the World.  Forgive me and restore me.  Amen.

Mark 2:18–22 (ESV)
A Question About Fasting
18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting. And people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19 And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in that day. 21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”

Fasting is done in a time of sorrow or penitence.  Jesus is making the point that while he is here, it is a time of feasting.  There will be plenty of time for fasting after his death, resurrection, and ascension.  When we get to heaven, there will be a big feast.  Jesus is bringing in new promises and new ways that are not to be added on to the old way.  The old ways are obsolete, Christ ushers in a new way of living.  This is why he makes the two statements “21 No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment. If he does, the patch tears away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins—and the wine is destroyed, and so are the skins. But new wine is for fresh wineskins.”  What these statements mean is that if you sew on a new unshrunk patch on old shrunken clothes, the patch will shrink and will not work.  Just like when making wine, you put new wine into new wine skins.  In the fermenting process, the wine skins will stretch and not break.  But if you pour new wine into old wineskins, the skins are already stretched, so when the wine is fermenting and expands, the old skins would break... thus ruining the wine.  So what does this mean?   The old way of the Pharisees and the Scribes does not work anymore, Jesus has brought in a new way through grace and mercy.  The way of the Law is dead, the new way is through the Gospel.

I pray: O Lord, There is much to fast over, but at the same time, there is much to celebrate with a feast.  Fasting because I know what I have done, and feasting because you have forgiven me.  It does sadden me that often I choose my own ways instead of your ways.  I know that when I chose to do it my way, I am making myself God... and I know that this is wrong.  I repent of my sins and want to do better.  I trust in you, my resurrected Savior for the forgiveness of sins.  Thank you Lord Jesus.  Amen.

Mark 2:13–17 (ESV)
Jesus Calls Levi
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.
15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him. 16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Mark begins with the calling of Levi.  Levi is better known as Matthew.  He was a tax collector which put him down on the bottom of the list for the Jews.  They did not want to associate with gentiles, tax collectors, or other low life.  As a tax collector, he dealt with the Roman government which the Jews detested.

What was even worse is that Jesus sat down and ate with these outcasts.  It is one thing to associate with undesirables, but to recline and eat with them was going to far for the Pharisees.  Eating is considered more personal, more intimate... something you do with friends.  The Pharisees see Jesus eating with them and they take notice.  Jesus response to the Pharisees can be confusing.  Jesus says: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”  What Jesus is basically saying is that I came to save the lost, so I hang out with sinners and social outcasts.  When it comes down to it, the Pharisees were sinners too, but they just didn’t know it.  Jesus would have been in the same company if he ate with them.  

I pray: O Lord, help me to not think of my self higher than I ought too, but to realize I was conceived sinful and am in need of your forgiveness and restoration.  Help me to deal with all people in love and to share the Gospel with all.  Help me to put others before my self.  Thank you for your grace and mercy.  Amen.

Latest comments

05.03 | 22:15

Pastor. since I did not get to attend church today, I read your blog and found it
to be so informative for Ash Wednesday. Thanks for your comments.

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25.12 | 07:53

Amen+

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28.11 | 13:00

Happy Thanksgiving

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03.11 | 01:46

A-Men!!!

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