A recent news article said laughing was outlawed in North Korea for eleven days. I know! Strange, right? The dictator outlawed laughter and other fun activities to observe the 10th anniversary of his father’s death. Sometimes governments ban the strangest things! This was true even in Jesus’ day.
For instance – would you outlaw miracles of healing? That sounds like a perverse idea, doesn’t it? In Jesus’ day, miracles themselves were not outlawed, But they might as well have been. The religions leaders of the day had laws that banned certain activities on the Sabbath day. They were incensed when Jesus healed on the Sabbath. They did not allow that kind of activity!
In Mark 3, Jesus healed a man with a deformed hand. He called the man to the front of the synagogue and asked the religious leaders this, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:4 NIV) The religious leaders did not answer him. Jesus looked at them in anger. He was deeply distressed by their stubborn efforts to condemn him rather than help the man. Then he healed the man’s hand.
This miracle not only shows Jesus’ compassion for the disabled, but also his anger at people who are so consumed with their own rules that they fail to help others. Let’s keep our eyes on doing good and loving people!
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.