1 He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. 2 They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. Mark 3:1-2
Trying to catch someone sinning, doing something illegal or unpopular is not new. These tattle-tales have been around for years. In Jesus’ day they were like spiritual spies ready to report back to headquarters incidents when people didn’t comply with the religious standards. There were more people around to catch the nonconforming than there were to help people find a real relationship with God.
What does it say about a society that is more interested in catching “wrong doers” than it is in reforming them? In Jesus’ day it was the religious folk that spearheaded this type of agenda. Unfortunately, the industry of accusation is still going strong today. The paparazzi is prowling around right now hoping to catch someone in an indiscretion or compromising situation.
Jesus confronted these ne’er-do-wells with a single statement. He asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or kill?” (Mark 3:4) Jesus is basically saying, “I am here to do good and to save people… even on the Sabbath. Can you perceive it?” Afterwards, Jesus waited for a positive response but never received it.
This is one of the few occasions where Jesus became angry and grieved. He was not angry at people, but angry at hard hearts. Hard hearts cannot be moved to see the good in people. Hard hearts are selfish and stubborn. They are unable to detect any real movement of God. But note, these same folks had front seats in the service, ready to correct any real move of God.
I encourage you if you want to see God move in yourself and others, then stay far away from the industry of accusation. It grieves the Lord and hardens your heart. Choose instead to help the Lord in His ministry of reconciliation. Choose to play for the winning team and bless others!