Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 9, 2018

“Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?”

Today’s devotion comes from Mark 3:1-6.

“He entered again into a synagogue;  and a man was there whose hand was withered.  They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.  He *said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!”  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.  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.  The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”  Mark 3:1-6.

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We know the answer to Jesus’ question:  “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?”  It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.  Jesus showed the answer by healing the man’s withered hand on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees were more concerned about all the things that one could not do on the Sabbath.  Jesus was more concerned about the one good thing He could do on the Sabbath.

The Pharisees used the Law to control behavior.  Jesus uses His Spirit to control behavior.

“For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death.  But now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter.”  Romans 7:5-6.

“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.  For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh;  for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  …  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control;  against such things there is no law.”  Galatians 5:16-18 and 22-23.

“Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”  Romans 7:4.


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