Free people to do the right things
Reading: Mark 3: 1-6
Additional readings: Matthew 11:25-30 and Psalm 131: 1-2
Learning words: Sabbath, grace
Blanks: Stand up, good
Let’s begin with a prayer:
Jesus, our living bread, nourish our hearts by your words so that we may see, hear and experience your Way, Truth and Life. Amen.
(1) At this time, Jesus entered a Jewish meeting place on a Sabbath.
Jesus knew that there was a setup.
What kind of setup?
(2) The religious leaders persuaded people that no one should heal people on the Sabbath.
They told them:
“Everyone should not work on the Sabbath.
If anyone worked on the Sabbath, they were not of God.
Healing is a work.
So, Jesus should not work on the Sabbath.
If Jesus heals people on the Sabbath, they should not believe in Jesus.
If he continually worked like that, God might get angry at us.
So, if Jesus loves God and people, he should not heal people on the Sabbath.
So, we made a setup.
We have this man whose hand does not work.
We will prepare him on this Sabbath.
If Jesus heals this man on the Sabbath, you know he is not of God.”
People agreed with them.
So, they were waiting for Jesus to come.
The religious leaders were sure that Jesus would heal this man.
They just wanted to show people so that they could say that Jesus was not of God.
Jesus healed people on the Sabbath all the times.
The religious teachers knew about this.
(3) What would Jesus do?
Jesus thought that their teaching was wrong.
So, Jesus wants to free people from their wrong teachings.
Because Jesus loves them, he wants them to free from wrong teachings.
So, here, at this place, everyone was watching what Jesus would do.
Then Jesus said to the man:
"Come up here so that everybody may see you."
Then Jesus said to him:
"Stretch out your hand!"
Then as soon as the man tried to stretch out, he was cured.
He was able to move his hand perfectly.
Knowing this was a setup, Jesus healed this man.
Jesus wanted to teach it is ok to do good on the Sabbath.
God wants to do good on the Sabbath.
God is freeing people to do good.
But now the religious teachers could get rid of Jesus, because they persuaded people that Jesus should not heal this man.
Knowing that he would die, Jesus wanted to prove them his point of view.
But in order to teach this, he had to pay the price.
Jesus had to die in order to teach grace.
It didn’t matter whether God was working through Jesus.
It didn’t matter whether Jesus showed God’s mind to them.
Some religious leaders didn’t like this kind of teachings. Period.
But God made the Sabbath for people to rest.
God made the Sabbath to make people free.
Jesus healed this man, because God worked on the Sabbath.
God liked this.
So, healing this man, Jesus wanted to persuade them.
Healing this man, Jesus hoped that people would understand the heart of God.
God was interested in helping people free and do good.
It does not matter whether it is on the Sabbath day or not.
It can be on any days.
Jesus thought that this was very important in order to teach people about this grace.
Jesus wanted to teach grace.
By the way, do you know what grace is?
Grace says that God accepts you as you are.
God accepts everyone as they are.
God gives them freedom.
That is grace.
God does give this grace so freely.
God is grace.
God wants to give freely, hoping that we will also freely love God and obey God.
God wants us to do what is right when we are free to do whatever we want to do.
If we are free to do what we want to do, we choose to make this world a better place to live in.
When we know that we are so free, we may say to God:
“God, what do you want me to do?”
Then God may start to speak to us.
God may show us something very important.
God may place the desire within our heart.
Then we may sense this desire or this feeling in our hearts.
We may notice this desire of God within us.
It happens because we are free in God.
In this way, we realize our call in life.
In this way, we recognize God’s voice in our heart.
Then we just can take a new step toward our calling in life.
We can do something good, every day for that calling.
As you take your steps toward it everyday, you may feel sure about your calling, or you may sense that God is not with you in this.
In this way you know which ways you should turn.
Anyway, sometimes, you need to ask these kinds of questions to yourself.
What does God want for my life? (Pause)
What kind of dreams does God have for me?
In God everything is possible.
If we have God, we have everything.
Jesus is our help.
So, trust God.
Anyway, as you try to do God’s will, God will start to prepare you.
God may open some doors for you to go so that you can be prepared and follow your calling.
God may surround you with those who encourage you to move forward.
The more God prepares you, the more God can use you.
Jesus also discovered his calling in life.
Jesus said yes to God’s invitation to save the world.
Jesus made that decision.
Jesus made that decision because he loves people.
Jesus loves people.
Following Jesus means loving people.
Let’s see how Jesus follows his callings.
Following his calling, Jesus made a lot of decisions.
Each decision shows how he thinks.
(1) For example, Jesus chose his own disciples.
Then Jesus taught them.
Jesus trained them.
Then Jesus sent them to teach other group of people.
In this way, Jesus wants to expand his movement.
(2) Another decision is that Jesus prays in the mountain, being alone.
Sometimes, when he students were in a deep sleep, Jesus left and went to pray.
Jesus lived a contemplative life.
Jesus practiced listening to God in stillness.
Then Jesus learned things after spending many hours in mountains, praying.
It is possible that in this way, Jesus realized about the Sabbath.
Jesus realized that God wanted to make people free.
Jesus remembered that God made the Sabbath for people.
People came first.
Jesus understood this clearly.
So, Jesus taught this and preached this.
There are other decisions that Jesus made.
Jesus decided not to worry, not to doubt, not to be anxious.
Jesus decided not to hate anyone, not to be negative, and not to feel defeated.
Jesus decided to think in terms of hope, love and faith.
(2) Because he thinks like this, when Jesus healed this man, he simply says in faith:
“Stretch out your hand!"
Then he expects good outcome.
Jesus believes that God can do this.
So, he was able to heal this man.
In his way, Jesus moves forward.
(2) When Jesus knew what God wanted, he obeyed.
Jesus obeyed when the religious teachers made a setup.
Even at this place, Jesus wanted to inform them the right teachings.
Meaning, Jesus wanted to change their thoughts.
Jesus wanted to free people to do all the right things, even on Sunday or any days, right?
Let us pray: