My first post for March - wow two weeks and the family (or what is left of it) heads off on our trip to warmer climates!
Have been studying the book of Mark with my guys small group. Mark looks at the life of Jesus through various "snap shots". It seems as if Mark is less concerned about what Jesus taught (via his words at least), that what He does. Mark spends a lot of time describing settings and what others are thinking and saying and doing, verses what Jesus taught.
Chapter 2 and 3 record six events where the established religious leaders of the day confront Jesus on some issue: the ability to forgive sins, eating with "sinners", not fasting, "harvesting" grain kernels to eat on the Sabbath, healing on the Sabbath and being powered by Satan.
The remarkable thing about these snap shots is the religious leaders of the day showed no concern for people; only for the "rules" of their religion. They were more concerned about trapping Jesus in working on the Sabbath than they were about healing a man. They were more concerned about not "harvesting" on the Sabbath than they were the hunger of men. Their focus was on strict alignment with their agenda; their rules; their way of living.
Mind you, they did not want to repeat the mistakes of the forefathers who sinned against God which ultimately caused the nation to be taken into exile. They wanted the blessing of God and not his curse; obedience to the law brought blessing; disobedience brought cursing.
In their zeal to be obedient, they forgot humanity. In their desire to be in the place of blessing, they forgot to look at the needs of the people around them. In executing their agenda, they forgot that the agenda of God was selflessness.
OK, so here is the hard part: when do I do this? When is my agenda over-ride my need to show grace, mercy and love to humanity. When is my desire to accomplish something cause me to miss the real reason for my existence - to aid people in their pursuit of God.
Something to watch for and correct when I see it..................