25 August 2016

A Passionate Defense



Theme: Defending the faith



Objectives:
Know: The church leaders at Jerusalem confirmed that Gentiles did not have to be circumcised and keep the ceremonial Law of Moses in order to be saved.
Think: Live with the understanding that salvation is by grace through faith for all people.
Do: Defend the truth of the gospel, opposing those who teach that works are necessary for salvation.

Scriptures: Acts 15:1-35

Notes and questions:
B1 Outline
  • The Jerusalem Council Acts 15:1-21
  • The Letter of decision Acts 15:22-35
  • The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas Acts 15:36-41
B2 The question--
  • What is the Gospel?
  • How to be saved.
  • Is there a different Gospel for Jews and for Gentiles?
B3 What does circumcision have to do with salvation?
  • Different views among the Jews. Some ideas follows:
  • Sacrifice of the male with the blood from the circumcision accepted in its place.
  • Full covenant with God.
  • Identification of the male with God.
  • Fulfillment of the covenant, that is, makes them full Jews (without circumcision they are still Jews but not of the covenant).
  • In time of Acts 15 a proselyte was to be baptized and circumcised in order to enter the covenant.
  • Thus some taught that if no circumcision, then no salvation.
  • Barnes in his commentary on this passage writes: For,
    • (1.) it would be maintained that the laws of Moses were the laws of God, and were therefore unchangeable; and,
    • (2.) it would doubtless be maintained that the religion of the Messiah was only a completing and perfecting of the Jewish religion; that it was designed simply to carry out its principles according to the promises, and not to subvert and destroy anything that had been established by Divine authority. It is usually not difficult to perplex and embarrass young converts with questions of modes, and rites, and forms of religion; and it is not uncommon that a revival is followed by some contention just like this. Opposing sects urge the claims of their peculiar rites, and seek to make proselytes, and introduce contention and strife into an otherwise peaceful and happy Christian community.
  • Compare Genesis 17:14 and Exodus 12:48-49.
  • Compare
    • Romans 4:9-12 Does this blessing then come upon the circumcision, or also upon the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while in uncircumcision, so that he should be the father of all those that believe, although uncircumcised, so that righteousness should also be imputed to them, and the father of circumcision to those not only of circumcision, but also to those following in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while in uncircumcision. Romans 4:9-12 EMTV
    • Galatians 5:1-6 Stand fast therefore in the freedom in which Christ has made us free, and do not be loaded down again with a yoke of bondage. Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing. And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who are justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For we by the Spirit eagerly await for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love. Galatians 5:1-6 EMTV)
B4 Name some ways that people attack Christianity and the preaching of the Gospel?
B5 How was the Gospel attacked in Acts 15:1-5?
B6 Did this situation have legitimate questions and concern?
B7 Why was there "sharp dispute and debate?" Is it right for Christians to do this?
B8 Acts 15:6-11
  • The greatest words in this passage are "... for he purified their hearts by faith."
  • What was Peter referring to when he said, "God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us?"
  • Why is the Gospel ONLY by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone?
  • What is wrong with our "good works?" Why don't our good works help us into heaven? See Ephesians 2:8, Galatians 2:16, and Isaiah 64:6.
  • Name some ways groups and people teach are necessary in order to be saved?
B9 Acts 15:12-21
  • What did James do to confirm Peter's message? He quoted from Amos 9:11-12 (11) In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up its breaches; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will rebuild it as in the days of old: (12) That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the nations, who are called by my name, says the LORD that does this. (Amos 9:11-12KJ2000)
  • Brian Williams, a pastor living in Buffalo, NY area, writes, "Peter was very deliberate in his speech to make it clear that this evangelism of the Gentiles was the work of God and not man. According to Peter, God made a choice (Acts 15:7), God knows the human heart (Acts 15:8), God cleansed their hearts (Acts 15:8), and God made no distinction between them and Jewish believers (Acts 15:9). The implication is that the Gentiles had been saved by faith alone, apart from being circumcised. Any attempt then at requiring the Gentiles to be circumcised would have two results. First, they would be testing or provoking God, and second, they would be putting on the followers of Christ an unbearable yoke (Acts 15:10). As the Jews typically viewed themselves as being the original recipients of God's favor, Peter turned this around in verse 11 (Acts 15:11) by stating that they (the Jews) would be saved by grace alone, just as the Gentiles were."
  • What are the things that Gentiles who believe are NOT to do, and what are they to do?
  • Do these 4 things have any authority for today's believers? Give some examples of application for these 4 rules.
B10 Acts 15:22-29 speaks of the decision to write a letter and who will deliver it to the Gentiles in Antioch. It also is the letter itself.
B11 Acts 15:30-35, what was the response of the believers in Antioch?
B12 Acts 15:36-41 speak of the disagreement between Paul and Barnabas concerning John Mark.
B13 Give some examples of false gospels you have heard preached at funerals, meetings, TELevangelists, on the radio, read, etc.
B14 How would we tell these people the truth? Will we be believed?
B15 How to we deal with false converts?
B16 Is it worth disagreeing with people over what the Gospel is or is not?
B17 What are some things (doctrinally) that we cannot compromise?
B18 What are some things (practically or culturally) that we can allow differences?

18 August 2016

Sent into the world

Theme: Spreading the Gospel

Objectives:
Know: Under the direction of the Spirit, the church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas to take the gospel to the Gentiles.
Think: Be conscious that is has always been God's plan that the gospel be taken to all people.
Do: Share the gospel at every opportunity, realizing that some will listen, and others will not.

Scriptures: Acts 13:1-52

Notes and questions:
B1 Is the number of Bible believing Christians increasing or decreasing? (In western cultures/countries the number and percent is going down, while the "nones" are increasing).
B2 The Gospel is spread by people who preach to other people.
B3 What are we to do when the area is saturated with preaching of the Gospel?
B4 Acts 13 outline
  • The call of Paul and Barnabas to minister Acts 13:1-3
  • Their ministry on Cyprus Acts 13:4-12
  • Their ministry Perga Acts 13:13 (This is when John Mark deserted them).
  • Their ministry in Antioch of Pisidia. Acts 13:14-52
B5 Who are these people? "Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul."
  • Barnabas is the well-known Bible character who introduced Paul to the Apostles.
  • Simeon is unknown with some suggesting that he was Simeon of Cyrene.
  • Lucius is thought to be one of the evangelists of Acts 11 (Then those who were scattered because of the tribulation coming about over Stephen, went about as far as Phoenicia, and Cyprus, and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews only. But some of them were men from Cyprus and Cyrene, who, entering into Antioch spoke to the Greek speaking Jews, preaching the good news of the Lord Jesus. (Acts 11:19-20 EMTV, and possibly Paul's relative (Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives, greet you. (Romans 16:21 EMTV)).
  • Manaen had been brought up (as a foster brother) of Herod the Tetrarch, Herod Antipas. The grew up together, were educated together, and had many privileges together, but one was an evil king and the other a teacher.
  • Saul, that is, Paul, the famous Apostle.
B6 Acts 13:2, if we minister (pray and worship in song) to the Lord, will we receive revelation, "The Holy Spirit said...?" No, there were prophets there in the service. There are no prophets today. People may call themselves prophets, but they are not. Qualifications of being a prophet.
"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-22 NKJV)
  • God speaks a message to that person who in turn tells the people.
  • What the prophet says must 100% come true.
  • Speaks in the name of another so-called god.

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV)
  • Fruits, that is, the characteristics of a non-Christian life (Galatians 5:17-21)
  • No repentance
  • No desire to do what is right
  • No desire to please God
  • No love for God ("...if you love me, you will keep (obey) my commandments..."). No fear of God

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)
  • False doctrine (heresies), even heresies that hurt people and their faith
  • Might even deny Jesus Christ
  • Not interested in telling the truth
  • Deceptive
  • Covetous
  • Exploit, take advantage of, others

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3 NKJV)
  • False doctrine of Jesus Christ

“Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don't believe it. For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.  “Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they tell you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ don't go out; ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ don't believe it. Matthew 24:23-26 WEB
  • May do false miracles
  • Lead astray from the one, true God and His truth
B7 Acts 13:1-3, who sends the missionaries? The congregation. The church...
  • Is both local and universal. The local church is the congregation. The church is all believers regardless of denominational tag. The church is the body of Christ.
  • Has a mission. This includes
    • A dwelling place for God (Ephesians 2:20-22)
    • Bearing witness to the truth (1 Timothy 3:15)
    • Showing God's wonderful, manifold wisdom (Ephesians 3:10)
    • Bringing glory to God (Ephesians 3:20-21)
    • Edifying, teaching, the members (Ephesians 4:11-13)
    • Disciplining members (Matthew 15:15-17, 1 Corinthians 5:1-5, 1 Corinthians 5:9-13)
    • Evangelizing, preaching, the Gospel (Matthew 28:18-20, Romans 10:15-18)
    • Worshiping together (Hebrews 10:25, compare Psalm 100:4, Acts 20:7, 1 Timothy 4:13)
B8 Acts 13:4-7, who shows up when the Gospel is preached? Do the false still show up today? Do you have any examples?
B9 Acts 13:8-12
  • Sorcerer--a person who "tells the future" using astrology, who uses divination, and who uses witchcraft. Basically a person who uses occult ways to know things, do things, and influence things.
  • "Filled with the Spirit"--The Holy Spirit helping the person with wisdom in action (Exodus 28:3, Exodus 31:3, Exodus 35:31, Luke 1:15, Luke 2:40, Acts 9:17, Acts 13:52),  or speech (Luke 1:41, Luke 1:67, Acts 2:4, Acts 4:8, Acts 4:31, Acts 5:3, Acts 13:9-11), and both (Ephesians 5:18). This is for something rare and special. The Lord Jesus had the Spirit without measure (John 3:34, Psalm 45:7, Isaiah 11:2-5) and "was upon Him" (Luke 4:18). There are many other passages as well. Personally I'm not convinced that Ephesians 5:18 is referring to people having leadings or experiences with God but rather do to with clear-headed and self-controlled worship without trances or signs/symptoms of possession.
  • What does a false prophet attempt to do? (Lead away from the truth).
B10 Acts 13:13, what happened to John?
B11 Acts 13:14-15, why did they usually go to a synagogue first?
B12 Acts 13:16-20, what is the main point in Paul's message?
B13 Acts 13:21-22, what is the main point here?
B14 Acts 13:23-25, what is the focus of this part?
B15 Acts 13:26-31, what is the summary of these verses?
B16 Acts 13:32-35, what is the importance of Jesus resurrection?
B17 Acts 13:36-41, what contrast is shown here? Why is this contrast important? How do we apply it to today's world?
B18 Acts 13:42-43, what effect did the Gospel have on these people? (Two different responses--one resisted and one did not resist).
B19 Acts 13:44-45, what is happening here? Why did the Jews get upset? How did they try to defeat the missionaries? Is that same method used today? How do we respond?
B20 Acts 13:46-48, why did some reject the Gospel? Why do people today reject it? What is the meaning of the words "...think yourselves to be unworthy of eternal life?"
B21 Acts 13:49-52, why is preaching the Gospel so offensive to some people? Are we to quit then? Why do they use verbal and physical abuse to try and stop the missionaries and the preaching of the Gospel?
B22 Why is knowledge of the Bible and Bible memorization important for the Christian?

17 August 2016

What are the qualifications of a false prophet?

There are many who claim to be prophet/prophetess, but are they?



Here are some Bible verses that speak about that topic. There are also many other verses which talk about false prophets, but these are the main ones that address how to know if someone is true or false.

I quote the verse and then list some of the main points.

Qualifications of being a prophet.

"The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear, according to all you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, nor let me see this great fire anymore, lest I die.' "And the LORD said to me: 'What they have spoken is good. I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him. And it shall be that whoever will not hear My words, which He speaks in My name, I will require it of him. But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.' And if you say in your heart, 'How shall we know the word which the LORD has not spoken?'— when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:15-22 NKJV)

  • God speaks a message to that person who in turn tells the people.
  • What the prophet says must 100% come true.
  • Speaks in the name of another so-called god.


"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them. (Matthew 7:15-20 NKJV)

  • Fruits, that is, the characteristics of a non-Christian life (Galatians 5:17-21)
  • No repentance
  • No desire to do what is right
  • No desire to please God
  • No love for God ("...if you love me, you will keep (obey) my commandments..."). No fear of God


But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber. (2 Peter 2:1-3 NKJV)

  • False doctrine (heresies), even heresies that hurt people and their faith
  • Might even deny Jesus Christ
  • Not interested in telling the truth
  • Deceptive
  • Covetous
  • Exploit, take advantage of, others 


Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:1-3 NKJV)

  • False doctrine of Jesus Christ


Then if any man tells you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or, ‘There,’ don't believe it. For there will arise false christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.  “Behold, I have told you beforehand. If therefore they tell you, ‘Behold, he is in the wilderness,’ don't go out; ‘Behold, he is in the inner rooms,’ don't believe it. Matthew 24:23-26 WEB

  • May do false miracles
  • Lead astray from the one, true God and His truth
Let us be aware. God bless

12 August 2016

First Four Messages Part D



Mark

General info
  • Author--Holy Spirit
  • Writer--John Mark (Marcus) via Peter
  • Time and place--Dates range from 50 to late 60s AD. The place is unknown. Caesarea and other places varying from Rome to Egypt.
  • Main topic--The life of Jesus Christ.

Outline:
Mark 1:1-8 John prepares
Mark 1:9-11 Jesus's baptism
Mark 1:12-13 Jesus's temptation
Mark 1:14-15 Jesus preaches in Galilee
Mark 1:16-20 Jesus calls first disciples
Mark 1:21-28 Jesus casts out demon
Mark 1:29-34 Jesus heals Peter's mother-in-law
Mark 1:35-40 Jesus teaches throughout Galilee
Mark 1:41-45 Jesus heals leper

Mark 2:1-12 Jesus heals paralytic
Mark 2:13-17 Jesus calls Levi
Mark 2:18-22 Jesus teaches about fasting
Mark 2:23-28 Jesus teaches about the Sabbath

Mark 3:1-6 Jesus heals on the Sabbath
Mark 3:7-12 Jesus teaches by the sea
Mark 3:13-20 Jesus appoints the 12 Apostles
Mark 3:21-27 Jesus teaches against false accusations
Mark 3:28-30 Jesus teaches about the unpardonable sin
Mark 3:31-35 Jesus teaches about who is the family of God

Mark 4:1-9 Parable of the sower
Mark 4:10-12 Purpose of parables
Mark 4:13-20 Jesus explains the parable of the sower
Mark 4:21-25 Parable of the lamp
Mark 4:26-29 Parable of the seed
Mark 4:30-34 Parable of the mustard seed
Mark 4:35-41 Jesus stills the wind and waves

Mark 5:1-20 Jesus heals the demon possessed
Mark 5:21-43 Jesus heals Jairus' daughter and the sick woman

Mark 6:1-6 Jesus rejected at Nazareth
Mark 6:7-13 Jesus sends out the 12
Mark 6:14-29 John the Baptist killed
Mark 6:30-44 Jesus feeds the 5,000
Mark 6:45-52 Jesus walks on water
Mark 6:53-56 Jesus heals at Gennesaret

Mark 7:1-13 Jesus teaches about tradition
Mark 7:14-23 Jesus teaches about defilement
Mark 7:24-30 Jesus heals the Syrophoenician woman
Mark 7:31-37 Jesus heals deaf, mute man

Mark 8:1-10 Jesus feeds 4,000
Mark 8:11-13 Jesus teaches Pharisees about signs
Mark 8:14-21 Jesus teaches about the leaven of the Pharisees and Herod
Mark 8:22-26 Jesus heals a blind man
Mark 8:27-30 Peter makes a confession of Messiah
Mark 8:31-33 Jesus prophesies about His death and resurrection
Mark 8:34-38 Jesus calls for all to follow Him

Mark 9:1-13 The transfiguration
Mark 9:14-29 Jesus heals demon possessed boy
Mark 9:30-32 Jesus prophesies about His death and resurrection
Mark 9:33-37 Jesus teaches about humility
Mark 9:38-41 Jesus teaches about who is for Him, not against Him
Mark 9:42-50 Jesus teaches about influencing someone to sin

Mark 10:1-12 Jesus teaches about divorce
Mark 10:13-16 Jesus blesses the children
Mark 10:17-31 Jesus and the rich, young ruler
Mark 10:32-34 Jesus prophesies about His death and resurrection
Mark 10:35-45 Jesus responds to the request of James and John
Mark 10:46-52 Jesus heals Bartimaeus

Mark 11:1-11 Jesus's triumphal entry
Mark 11:12-14 Jesus curses the fig tree
Mark 11:15-19 Jesus cleans out the Temple
Mark 11:20-26 Jesus teaches about the cursed fig tree
Mark 11:27-33 Jesus has His authority challenged

Mark 12:1-12 Jesus teaches the parable of the wicked tenants
Mark 12:13-17 Jesus teaches about paying taxes
Mark 12:18-27 Jesus teaches the Sadducees about the resurrection
Mark 12:28-34 Jesus teaches about the greatest commandment
Mark 12:35-37 Jesus teaches the He is the Son of David
Mark 12:38-40 Jesus teaches about the errors of the Scribes
Mark 12:41-44 Jesus teaches about the widow's offering

Mark 13:1-9 Jesus prophesies about the Temple's destruction
Mark 13:10-13 Jesus teaches about spreading the Gospel
Mark 13:14-23 Jesus prophesies about the Abomination of Desolation
Mark 13:24-31 Jesus prophesies about His return
Mark 13:32-37 Jesus teaches against date setting

Mark 14:1-2 The plot to kill Jesus
Mark 14:3-9 Jesus anointed at Bethany
Mark 14:10-11 Judas agrees to betray Jesus
Mark 14:12-21 The Last Supper
Mark 14:22-25 Jesus teaches what the Lord's Supper means
Mark 14:26-31 Jesus prophesies Peter's denial
Mark 14:32-42 Jesus prays in Gethsemane
Mark 14:43-52 Jesus betrayed and arrested
Mark 14:53-65 Jesus before the Sanhedrin
Mark 14:66-72 Peter denies Jesus

Mark 15:1-5 Jesus brought before Pilate
Mark 15:6-11 The crowd wants Barabbas not Jesus
Mark 15:12-15 Jesus delivered to be crucified
Mark 15:16-20 Jesus mocked by the soldiers
Mark 15:21-32 Jesus is crucified
Mark 15:33-41 Jesus dies
Mark 15:42-47 Jesus is buried

Mark 16:1-8 Jesus rises from the dead
Mark 16:9-13 Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene
Mark 16:14-18 Jesus gives the Great Commission
Mark 16:19-20 Jesus ascends to heaven

The outline shows the most common subject involves "Jesus."
  1. Jesus is His earthly name.
  2. Messiah or Christ is His title.
  3. He is the anointed one.
  4. Only one person is THE anointed one.
  5. Kings, priests, and Christians may be anointed, but only Jesus in THE anointed one.


The Gospel is written to inform people of the life of Jesus Christ.
His life, teaching, death, and resurrection all prove the He is God the Son, the Passover  Lamb, the redeemer of Israel and any who will call out to Him.

Throughout the Gospel it is noted that Jesus had authority over everything.
When Jesus died, it was because He voluntarily died.

Jesus teaches doctrine and how to approach life.
  • He spoke and dealt with friends and enemies.
  • He healed those who followed Him forever and those who deserted Him.
  • He was always the victor.


Let us take a closer at two passages--Mark 3:1-6 and Mark 16:1-8.

Mark 3:1-6
  • Mark 3:1-6And He entered again into the synagogue. And a man was there who had a withered hand. And they were observing Him, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the one who had the withered hand, "Step forward." Then He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they kept silent. And looking around at them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out with the Herodians and immediately conspired against Him, how they might destroy Him. Mark 3:1-6 (EMTV).
  • Terms:
    • Synagogue. This is different than the Temple. The synagogue is a "gathering" of the people to worship. The Jewish term, I believe, is Beit K'nesset. It is the local place of worship. The Temple was the national place to worship. The synagogue was a place of prayer. It is also a school, a place of study. It is not only a place for teaching the children but also the adults. It is life long study. At the time Titus entered Jerusalem it is estimated that between 394-480 synagogues existed in Jerusalem. Some were Jews from different areas. In Acts 6:9, some of these are mentioned. The man in charge with the synagogue ruler. Next in charge was the executive officer who had charge of the details. The main furniture was a cabinet called the Ark. This held the scroll of sacred Scripture. Those Jews who attended could read the Scriptures and offer prayers. The elders sat in front. The men and women sat separately.
    • Withered hand. The would have been from accident or disease. Some diseases today as various arthritis, ALS, muscular dystrophies, etc.
MuscleAtrophy.png
    • Sabbath. From sunset Friday to sunset Saturday.
    • Pharisees. Basically they were separatists to whom it was important to not be stained with any contamination of sin, unclean people or animals, or nations. They were zealous for the law, but they had additions based on decisions and Jewish philosophy. The believed in the resurrection, angel, and spirit. (For the Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angel or spirit, but the Pharisees acknowledge them all.) Acts 23:8 LEB
    • Herodians. These were a political party supporting the Herods.
  • Evidently these Jews felt that healing on the Sabbath was sinful. Jesus was going to correct them. Their misunderstanding of what the Sabbath really was for had corrupted to almost be lost. This oral tradition is the Talmud, which interprets the Law of Moses.
  • The attendees seem to have one purpose. This was to watch him closely for any deviation of what they thought the Sabbath was to be, what could and could not be done, and pure tradition. Watching closely is in the imperfect tense, thus it was a continuous action. They wanted to accuse him of evil, so they could destroy him.
  • Jesus asks the elders and the attenders a question. He knew both their answer and the truth. "Is it OK with the Law to do good or harm, to save a life or destroy it?"
  • They refused to answer, because they wanted to destroy him.
  • Jesus wanted them to know the truth. They wanted their own way, their own tradition, and their own authority instead of truth.
  • Is it wrong to be angry? No, it is a normal emotion. Here we see Jesus angry, yet without sin. He grieved (was in sorrow) at their hardness of heart. Hardness of heart means they were stubborn and unyielding to truth.
  • Jesus commanded to stretch out his hand. His obedience showed faith (Numbers 20:7-13). The healing showed that Jesus was creator, for He created health. No physician can do this.
  • Was making plans to kill someone who had done such a wonderful thing wrong to do on the Sabbath? I guess these people didn't care.
  • What we can learn from this.
    • Truth is important.
    • Truth must be the priority.
    • Truth has a standard.
    • Truth can be rejected.
    • Truth must be this important to us.
    • The Bible is the ONLY source of 100% truth.
    • May the way we live and think this week be in accordance with God's truth.

Sources:
Synagogue here and here and here