Today, we get to see Jesus’ heart. It grieved Him deeply that the leaders of the law would not believe in Him (v5); even His miracles didn’t persuade them. They simply were NOT INTERESTED in anyone coming in and being their leader–Messiah or not! They wanted power. There may have been a few who adhered strictly to the Scriptures for Scripture’s sake and their interpretation of it, whom Jesus must have offended greatly. Let’s take a look.
v1-6 Jesus provided several things when He healed the man’s shriveled hand on the Sabbath:
- He provided healing for the man. That miracle in itself should have proven that He was God in the flesh!
- He provided an illustration of creation. Jesus sped up the healing properties already within the man’s body. In an instant, he grew a new hand! Jesus had made the man–and us!–with stem cells so that the information for the hand was already there. He did the same for every plant, animal, planet and star in the universe. To do it in six days was nothing to Him, and He proved it with this man.
- He provided the Pharisees and the Herodians with sufficient reason to begin the process of killing Him. Like I said, they weren’t interested in a Messiah, especially one like Jesus!
v7-12 Jerusalem was in the northern part of Judea. Idumea was east and southeast of Judea and included the Dead Sea
area down to the gulf of Aqaba. The regions across the border of the Jordan included the Decapolis, which was a 10-city area up and down the east side of the Jordan. It was both Jewish and Gentile. Tyre and Sidon were at the extreme northern part of Israel north and east of Galilee. In other words, people came from all over Israel to see Jesus. We know from Luke 6:19 that Jesus healed all who came to Him. It must have been exhausting! Whenever He cast out a demon, He again gave them strict orders not to tell who He was.
v13-19 Jesus chose twelve men into whom He poured His teaching and ministry. He mentored them. Why 12? It was His
plan. I’m sure it had significance in that there were 12 tribes of Israel. Jesus even makes reference to it in Matthew 19:28. Why did He choose Judas Iscariot? Everyone gets a chance to get it right. Jesus knew He wouldn’t, but chose Him anyway. Jesus didn’t cause Judas to fail, but He used the circumstances of his failure to His glory and our salvation.
v20-35 The press of the crowd must have been almost oppressive. They were eager to learn from Him, to be healed, to be blessed, and to just be in His presence! Wouldn’t you?! Yet, many didn’t believe in Him.
- The teachers of the law didn’t believe in Him and accused Him of driving out demons by the prince of demons, Beelzebul (Satan). Jesus called them on it because it was the Holy Spirit who was the power behind the miracles and the exorcisms. Jesus told them to say what they want about Him, but to refuse the saving power of the Holy Spirit is to turn down salvation itself! Against this sin there is no forgiveness. Why? Because the Spirit is our Seal of Salvation. He IS our salvation. See Ephesians 1:13 and 4:30.
- We know His brothers didn’t believe Him to be the Messiah. We read about it in John 7:5. I wonder if Mary, who was with them (v31) wasn’t shaking her head at them for their foolishness. I hate that Jesus had to include His own mother when He “disowned” his own kin. Jesus was creating a new family, the family of faith in Him.
- Jesus challenged the teachers of the law using logic. One would think that they would receive that kind of teaching, but it didn’t compute in their equation. Jesus challenged his family by referring to whoever does God’s will is his brother, sister and mother. What is God’s will? Jesus tells us in John 6:29, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” He sent Jesus!
Let’s be wise and become part of His family by doing God’s will: to believe in the One whom He sent. Jesus is our LORD and Savior. Let’s worship Him, obey Him and serve Him all the days of our lives.