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Saturday, January 16, 2010

How To Be Pro-Life

How To Be Pro-Life

Concern For People With Special Challenges

Mar 3:1 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered.

Mar 3:2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.

Mar 3:3 He *said to the man with the withered hand, "Get up and come forward!"

Although Jesus often sought to do His works in secret, here He chooses to go public in full view of the very people that sought to put Him to death. Jesus loved all people, even His enemies and to learn all there is to be taught by Him we need to be careful to never read int the text and to remember the context of what is happening and being said. From the text it is easy to conclude that the Pharisees had placed the man for Jesus to see ad then it just might be that the man knew Jesus would likely be in the service and was hoping that He would bless his hand.

The only thing of real importance here is that Jesus called the man to the front of the assembly for, even His enemies to witness Him teach a Spiritual lesson. In the world I often heard and still hear “Do unto them before they do unto you.” Jesus is in strict violation of the traditions of the Jews and yet right in front of them He chooses to teach them a great truth and to benefit the man that would have been considered a sinner or at best the off-spring of sinners because of his withered hand.

Mar 3:4 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.

At I found 39 specific definitions of work prohibited on the Sabbath. It would appear, from the rules there that a Jewish man or woman could purchase food but they were not allowed to carry it. According the the Rabbi you are not allowed to tie nor to untie any knot that does not have a bow in it.

It is not hard for me to see why Jesus chose to teach this lesson for everyone to see and to hear. The traditions were and are contrary to the will of God for His people. Just as Paul teaches us the Law is our teacher (see Rom. 6:14; 7:1-14; Gal. 3:10-13, 24-25; 4:21; 5:1, 13; 2 Cor. 3:7-18) and yet the Jewish leaders kept adding to the Law and ruining it's intended purpose. From the Law we can learn what God is like and from that we learn what He wants us to be like but when we add to or subtract from the Law we distort the picture painted there.

Mar 3:5 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.

Mar 3:6 The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.

When none of these teachers and administrators of the Law would answer Him a righteous anger arose in Jesus. Here, Jesus gives us an example of how to be angry and to sin not. As Christians we need to open our eyes and to look around us. Every person we see has the Right to Life and if we are careful to discern good from evil there are many that we can help to live.

We need to keep this lesson in context at the same time. When Jesus sent the Disciples out on their first Mission Journey He also cautioned them to be discerning and tidy with their time and efforts.

Concern For People with Chronic Problems

Mar 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

This lady had been suffering for 12 years, had spent all the money she had to spend seeing the doctors, hoping all the time that this doctor or that doctor would be able to convey God's blessing onto her and thereby heal her. She lived in desperation ad by Jewish law she was unclean and would be reminded of her unclean condition, over and over, no matter where she went or no matter who she encountered. From her actions it seems certain that she had heard of some of the healing miracles that Jesus was renowned for performing. While it seems certain that many of the hangers on were there for the show, she had a genuine need and she had the faith that assured her of the possibility of Jesus' ability to heal her. Ere, though, after she touched His garment's hem, knowing that her faith had not been misplaced, she trembles in fear, she had just made Him ceremonially unclean. On the other hand she was an honest woman and was willing to be held accountable for her transgression.

Mar 5:34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

Jesus, instead of being angry or indignant with her spoke to her as one of His family, wished her well and commended her for her faith. Faith is a very important component of the Christian walk. In the past nineteen years I have seen many marvelous miracles and have been part of laying hands on people and they were healed. This is not the type of healing “show” that we see where the showman (preacher?) puts his hand o the forehead and pushes them to the ground. I and several other believers, without any show, laid hands on the person ad fully believing in the power of God to heal those He wishes to heal, we prayed. The individual went to the doctor, in preparation for more treatment and the doctor could no longer find the ailment because God had healed them. The only reason this is not common and as never been common is because of the lack of faith in God to do what He is able to do. This woman believed and she was healed.

Concern For People Facing Deathly Illness

Mar 5:35 While He was still speaking, they *came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, "Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?"

While Jesus was distracted with the lady touching the hem of His garment servants of the official arrived with bad news, as Jesus had tarried his daughter had passed away.

Mar 5:36 But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, *said to the synagogue official, "Do not be afraid any longer, only believe."

Here again we see Jesus make the point that faith is required.

Mar 5:37 And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James.

If Jesus were about a show this wold be the perfect time for a huge crowd, instead Jesus even limits His disciples to 3. Jesus modeled for us a genuine concern for people and their plight. This same method of doing God's will and an0nimity marks God's servants today. The man of God, no matter his calling does not want to be seen on the front page or for that matter, any page of the national news media.

Mar 5:38 They *came to the house of the synagogue official; and He *saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing.

Mar 5:39 And entering in, He *said to them, "Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep."

Jesus, on His arrival, knowing the truth, sets the stage for all the credit for what He is about to do to be stripped away from His person.

Mar 5:40 They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He *took along the child's father and mother and His own companions, and *entered the room where the child was.

As soon as Jesus made the makes the statement that the little girl is not dead the mean spirited laughter and the heckling began. This passage is worthy of study and that needs to be done by studying the customs of the time period. I have been taught that it was customary for professional mourners to be hired for the funeral. It is easily seen, by the reaction of the crowd, that they were not concerned enough about the father and mother enough to hope that what Jesus said could somehow be true. What I see here is that they were more concerned about a days wages than for the welfare of the child and the peace of mind for the parents. I would enjoy thinking that people are not that hard hearted but my life experiences have proven that folks are just that hardened of the heart.

Mar 5:41 Taking the child by the hand, He *said to her, "Talitha kum!" (which translated means, "Little girl, I say to you, get up!").

Mar 5:42 Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded.

Jesus, having brought only the three disciples and the mother and father into the room calls the child and commands her to rise. I believe it is important to note that Jesus only allowed the people that believed, His disciples and possibly the father, and the mother, who was full of hope and probably expectation, to enter into the room with Him. All the unbelievers were isolated from the scene completely.