Jesus Heals on the Sabbath: 3:1-12.
(Read: Mark 3:1-12)
Jesus saw a man with a withered hand in the synagogue. Since it was the Sabbath, the religious leaders watched Jesus whether he would heal the man on the Sabbath day. Jesus asked “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good deeds or to harm? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they would not answer him. Jesus grieved at their hardness of heart. They were more concerned about keeping the Sabbath rules than to do good. Jesus said to the man “Stretch out your hand”. Immediately his hand was restored. Jesus rarely performed miracles the same way twice. Immediately the Pharisees took council with Herodians to kill Jesus. Herodians refers to a political party which was loyal to Herod’s family. God is not interested in our heartless and empty religious rituals. No one can earn God’s favor by religious observations. The people came to Jesus from all over Galilee and other regions. The news about his miracles had spread far and wide. Those who had afflictions pressed about him to touch him. The evil spirits fell down before Jesus and said “You are the Son of God”. Jesus strictly ordered them not to make him known. It is easy to go through religious motions rather than true worship of God. Pray that God would give us a tender heart of love to serve others.
Jesus Selects the Twelve Apostles: 3:13-35.
(Read: Mark 3:13-35)
After spending the whole night in prayer Jesus appointed twelve of his disciples to be his apostles (Luke 6:12). Prayer should precede all important decisions in life. There were chosen to be with Jesus. They were also given power to perform miracle. Only by his strength we are able to serve others. To know more, read note on Matthew 10:2-4. Jesus’ relatives failed to understand his identity. They thought that Jesus is out of his mind. Jesus never calls his disciples to sever their relationship with their families. But he wanted that our priority must be on God and to his purposes even if others resist our decisions. Jesus was accused of doing miracles by the power of the prince of demons. Jesus asked his accusers “How can Satan cast our Satan?” A kingdom divided will collapse. Jesus said “All sins will be forgiven, including blasphemy, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven”. The unpardonable sin is rejecting Christ when the Holy Spirit works in our heart. Jesus points out that eternal relationship surpasses earthly relationships. Pray that God would help you to love others by spending time in prayer considering Christ's generosity towards you.