24th May 2012 by Bill Davis
“Why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Mark 2:16) “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” (Mark 2:24) “Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched Him closelyto see if He would heal him on the Sabbath.
Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, ‘Stand up in front of everyone.’ Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:2-4) Some people use these passages to say that Jesus did not believe in strict observance of God’s law. Such efforts are not only false but very misguided. When challenged about the people He associated with, Jesus said: Mark 2:17 (NIV); “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus was accustomed to fasting so when He and the disciples picked corn on the Sabbath, they certainly could have waited until the next day to eat. When Jesus healed the man with the shriveled hand, certainly this man would have been willing to wait until the next day to be healed. Jesus was trying to confront those “rule makers” and show them the true essence of God’s love. If you are living a life for Christ and not offending some people, then you had better reevaluate your witness. Christian living is often a sure way to create criticism for yourself. Your reasoning should not be to create criticism or enemies, or to keep all happy. It should be to live as closely as possible to God’s teachings. John 15:19a (NIV); “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own.”
You may be criticized, made fun of, or even persecuted. But you will be in good company. They did it to Jesus first. Matthew 5:10-12 (NIV); “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.Blessed are you when people insult you,persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad,because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Do you “play it safe” or are you willing to stand up for Christ no matter the cost? Are you going to stand with the popular voice or proclaim Christ’s message? Don’t worry so much about being “politically correct”. Worry more about being “Christ correct”. In his book, “Jesus Mean and Wild”, Mark Galli states; “Truthful confrontation is one sure way to create enemies. If we fraternize with a perceived enemy of faith or morality, we run the risk of creating other enemies–sometimes even within the household of faith.” Yes, Jesus was attacked for associating with tax collectors and sinners. We should be more like Jesus and reach out to all. We may even find Jesus there.
Bill Davis

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