Text: Mark 2:23-28; Mark 3:1-19
Event(s): More controversy surrounds Jesus’ actions on the Sabbath, Multitudes are healed, Twelve Apostles are selected after a night of prayer
Mark 2:24 I want you to picture this for a second. The disciples were walking through the fields with Jesus, and had just reached out to pluck some heads of grain and eat them as they were walking along. It would be like us going for a walk and passing by a blueberry patch and reaching out to grab a couple of berries off the branches. That’s very different than working a field to harvest a crop; but the Pharisees’ response just goes to show how religious and hard-hearted they had gotten. They actually constituted what the disciples were doing as reaping, threshing, and winnowing, which was forbidden work on the Sabbath.
Mark 2:25 Jesus pointed back to an instance that was already recorded (In 1 Samuel 21:1-6) which the Pharisees should have known, to point out that these man-made rules they were living by was contradictory to God’s heart.
Mark 3:6 The forces are starting to align. It was unheard of for the Pharisees to plot together with the Herodians on anything. Normally, these two groups of people were considered enemies, and yet now they come together, under a common purpose, to try and destroy Jesus.
Mark 3:10 “as many as had afflictions pressed about Him to touch Him” The healing with the woman with the issue of blood had not yet taken place. She wasn’t the first to know that if she could just reach out and touch Him, she could be healed.
Mark 3:12 “But He sternly warned them that they should not make Him known.” In Matthew’s account of this event, he states that the reason Jesus told them to not make Him known was a fulfillment of Isaiah 42:1-4. There were times Jesus did not want to be known because it would limit His work (such as in Luke 5:14), but in this case, it was simply a reflection of His character and nature that pointed to the fact He was Messiah. (See Matthew 12:17-21)
Mark 3:13 In Luke’s account of this event (Luke 6:12 to be precise), we learn that it was after a whole night of prayer that Jesus returned and appointed the 12; even Judas, who would later betray Him.
Today’s Takeaway: Righteousness should not produce a religious spirit within us. For example, I remember a few years back, watching an exchange between two girls, one whom I happened to know was going through a season of fasting. The other girl happened to offer her something, I think it was a piece of candy, and her response was, “No, I can’t eat that because I’m fasting.” I know she didn’t intend for it to sound this way, but the girl who offered it shrunk back, like as if she had done something wrong. In essence, here’s what the response had communicated to her: “I’m doing something holy right now and what you’re offering me, isn’t holy.” Even in seasons where God may ask us to lay something aside, we need to be careful that our communication or responses don’t come across as religious. It’s fine to just say “no thank you” or “that looks great, but I think I’ll pass”.
Additional (optional) reading: The parallel accounts of these events can be found in Matthew 12:1-21; Luke 6:1-16