Click this link to hear an audio version of the below text narrated by SOTH member Jerry Rhinehart:
Mark 2:23-3:6 (NIV)
Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
23 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. 24 The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” 25 He answered, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need? 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
3 Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.
How have you seen religious rules or institutions hurt people?
Unfortunately, I have seen some religious rules hurt people. Those times caused lots of hard feelings within the congregation and presented a poor image to the community. It took a long time to heal from the hurts and some people even walked away from the church.
Lord, I pray that you would keep my heart tender and my mind filled with your wisdom, especially in these present days as those who love you are coming under much scrutiny in all we do and say. Those who criticize and often condemn me are those who do not know you, their eyes have been blinded to your great mercy and grace. Father, I pray that your Holy Spirit would strengthen me to be gracious to everyone and allow me to do good in all circumstances, for there is no condemnation in doing what is good at any time. Amen
Today’s prayer was submitted by Jo Schneider