New International Version (NIV)
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.
Crowds Follow Jesus
7 Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lake, and a large crowd from Galilee followed. 8 When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon. 9 Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him. 10 For he had healed many,so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him. 11 Whenever the impure spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” 12 But he gave them strict orders not to tell others about him.
Jesus Appoints the Twelve
13 Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. 14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.16 These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter),17 James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means “sons of thunder”), 18 Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot 19 and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
Jesus Accused by His Family and by Teachers of the Law
20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”
22 And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebul! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.”
23 So Jesus called them over to him and began to speak to them in parables:“How can Satan drive out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. 27 In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house. 28 Truly I tell you, people can be forgiven all their sins and every slander they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; they are guilty of an eternal sin.”
30 He said this because they were saying, “He has an impure spirit.”
31 Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, “Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.”
33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.
34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Jesus served others and called Himself a servant.
V 1-6: Aware that the Jewish leaders had turned against Him, Jesus still chose to be compassionate and healed a man’s deformed hand on the Sabbath. Their indifference to human needs disturbed and angered Jesus.
If we are indifferent to the needs of others, how can we share the love of God or be a servant unto others?
V 7-8: In spite of great opposition from the religious leaders, Jesus continued to show love and compassion towards the sick, the poor and the demon possessed. His obedience to His Father never wavered .
John Wesley was a great servant of God. His motto was, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.” That is greatness.
How can we know if we have the heart of a servant? Jesus said, “You can tell what they are by what they do.” There is no greater joy than to be God’s servant by loving and caring for others.
In contrast to the servant heart of Jesus, the Jewish religious leader’s hearts were hardened by being jealous of Jesus’ popularity, the miracles He performed and His ability to teach and preach. They valued their status in the community and opportunity for personal gain more than their calling to lead people toward God. They were slaves to their positions and power!
King Solomon spoke about the little foxes that spoil the vine. These little foxes can be about the wrong things we think(heart sins), say(lip sins), or do(behavioral sins). We become slaves to them and they rob us of fulfilling God’s calling to be a servant. They have to be slain before they become big foxes. No longer to be a slave of self-will, but to become a servant of God’s will and follow Jesus with a willing heart.
V 13-19: Jesus chose twelve disciples, who were ordinary people with no specific talents or abilities, except that there were willing to obey and follow Him. The only cost involved to be His servant(disciple) today is FAITH, OBEDIENCE and COMMITMENT.
V 31-34: When Jesus was teaching in a crowded house, His mother and brothers arrived; concerned about His well-being, they sent a word that they were outside to see Him. Jesus loved His family but looking at the crowd, He said, “Anyone who does the will of my Father is my sister, my brother and my mother.” Jesus did not show partiality. He gave everyone the privilege of obeying God and becoming part of His family!
How grateful I am to be part of His family!
Take time to pray and thank God for choosing you to be His servant and part of His family.
Ask Holy Spirit to put His finger on the little foxes in your life and to help you slay them before they grow into big foxes! We cannot do this with our own strength, but if we are willing for Holy Spirit to deal with it, we will have victory.
Every morning, ask what He wants to do in your life and through you to others.
Ask Holy Spirit what actions you can take to show His love and compassion this week.
What we are part of is bigger than the part we play and the part we play is prayer, which is partnership with Jesus for the transformation of history. Prayer is God’s ordained way to bring His miracle power to bear upon human need.