A Heart for God
March 14, 2021
A Heart for God
Following the Servant
The context of chapters 1 and 2
Chapter 1: Jesus ministers without opposition
Starting chapter 2: Five back-to-back accounts with the Pharisees concerning:
– blaspheming for claiming He can forgive sin
– eating with tax collectors and sinners
– failure to fast
– working on the Sabbath
– healing on the Sabbath
1 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 always ministered . (v.1)
Jesus’ public ministry it speaks to the of the four Gospels.
What do we know about the man with the withered hand?
The man with the withered hand was there because he had a hopeful and believing heart. The Pharisees were there because they had hard and jealous hearts.
- The Pharisees had already about Jesus. (v.2)
Do your homework on Jesus.
The true identity of Jesus is the paramount question of the world.
- Not only was the Sabbath meant for our good, but we were meant on it. (vv.3-4)
People were now serving the Sabbath, rather than Sabbath serving people.
Jesus’ question about saving or killing convicted the Pharisees of what they actually wanted to do in their hearts on that Sabbath day – namely to kill Jesus.
- The dangers of a hard heart (v.5)
The hard heart rejects God’s way of doing things and then insists that .
Because salvation is by faith and repentance, not our good works and performance, in one sense anyone can at any time turn to God. “There is no sin so great that it can bring damnation on those truly repent.” But a person can drift in sin until they are too hardened and to consider real repentance. While God’s door to hear contrite hearts is never shut, our window of opportunity to produce it can be. If we ever sense the impulse to repent, we should respond immediately and not presume in our pride that we will be capable of it at any time and place we choose. -Tim Keller (God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life)
Proverbs 28:14 (NIV)
Blessed is the one who always trembles before God,
but whoever hardens their heart falls into trouble.
The Herodians were the secular of Herod Antipas. (v.6)
For the man with the withered hand, this was probably one of the most joyous days in his life, but for Jesus, it was the day he officially became number one.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.” Mark 3:6
Read Mark 3:1-6. What was it about the Pharisees’ attitude that so distressed Jesus (see 3:5)?
What reasons would the Pharisees have given that Jesus had to be destroyed?
Read Mark 3:1-6. Is it ever a good idea to do something that you know will result in public criticism?
What public or private situations might tempt us to withhold compassion from someone who needs it?
Read Mark 3:1-6. How are a legalistic spirit and a critical attitude related?
How can a long-term habit of criticism and faultfinding result in ridiculous restrictions and foolish regulations?
Read Mark 3:1-6. How did Jesus’ question in 3:4 clarify the situation?
How can a well-formed question sometimes work better in a debate than simply stating an idea/opinion?
Read Mark 3:1-6. What kinds of people make you angry? (Maybe those in destructive sin patterns or someone who claims to be “righteous” but blatantly disobeys God, etc.)
Read Mark 2 and 3:1-6. All of chapter 2 and this section of chapter 3 are five stories of conflict Jesus had with the religious leaders. How would you summarize these leader’s reasons for opposing Jesus?
Why do you think Mark placed all these accounts in this same section and why so early in his gospel account?