Today you should read: Mark 2
The Pharisees. Enough said, right?
I’m glad they were around; they made for fantastic illustrations in Jesus’ sermons.
They seemed to get in Jesus’ way more than anyone else. They were misguided, prideful, “religious zealots”. Religious, but not with the true religion James speaks of. Just religious. They were puffed-up, holier-than-thou, annoying, argumentative, stone-hearted… “religious”.
Then there’s Jesus. True religion personified: sick-healing, awe-inspiring, loving, gracious, wise, merciful – what real “religion” ought to be. And really, what the Pharisees were supposed to be.
The truth is, we’re probably more like them than we are like Jesus in the way we carry out our lives. We’re often standing in the way of God’s mission and purposes because of arrogant, sinful hearts. Seeing the Pharisees in this chapter serves as a reminder to all of us as to what not to become.
In this chapter, Jesus affirms His divine attributes in 3 ways:
1) His Divine Power (v.1-12)
2) His Divine Mission (v.13-17)
3) His Divine Lordship (v.18-28)
His divine power was exercised not only in the healing of the sick, but also in His ability to pronounce sins as forgiven. Neither the Pharisees nor the rest of the Jews had seen anything like this before. The prophets and fathers could intercede on Israel’s behalf, but none of them had the power to actually forgive sins. This was as much a declaration of Christ’s deity as anything else in His ministry.
His divine mission was seen in the calling of Levi (Matthew). Jesus came to make disciples not just religious followers. He sat with sinners and tax collectors because, after all, He came for the sick, not the healthy. His mission would ultimately be fulfilled in His death on the cross when He paid the price for dirty sinners like us.
His divine lordship was displayed in his authority over the Sabbath. Remember who instituted the Sabbath? God did in the very beginning of the Bible. Who could proclaim authority over the Sabbath? Only the Lord of Heaven and Earth, the Word of God who was God and was with God in the beginning. He is The Beginning.
Food for thought:
1) How have you seen Christ’s divine power in your life?
2) How are you living out Christ’s mission?
3) Are you submitting to Christ’s lordship right now in ALL areas of your life?
4) What are some key ways to avoid Pharisaism?
Posted by: Todd Thomas