Stand Up for Truth
He said to the man with the withered hand, "Step up where people can see you." Then he said to them, "Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they said nothing. Looking around at them with anger, deeply grieved at their unyielding hearts, he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he did, and his hand was made healthy. Mark 3:1–5, CEB
If you really study the life of Jesus, you’ll see that He was not afraid of confrontation. Imagine the scene: Jesus is in the synagogue, and His detractors are watching Him, trying to catch Him in the act of healing on Sabbath.
The man with the withered hand didn’t ask for a healing. He wasn’t looking to stir up trouble. But Jesus puts him front and center, to make a point. To teach. The Pharisees had gotten so caught up in the external aspects of God’s law that they seem oblivious to the heart of God. Jesus is deeply grieved by their attitude.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to love, to show mercy, and so on. But we often inaccurately assume that to be like Him, we should avoid confrontation. This text shows us that at certain times, confrontation is necessary. It calls us to follow Jesus to the difficult place of standing up for truth. This text also reminds us how easy it is to get caught up in legalism, to elevate tradition above the Word of God.
FAITH STEP: Where is Jesus asking you to confront wrong thinking or legalism? Second, is there an area of your life where you have an unyielding heart? Where you are grieving Jesus?
Contributed by Keri Wyatt Kent
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