Journal Entry // February 15, 2022
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.Mark 3:5 ESV
I really enjoy these passages where we are shown the emotions of Jesus. These snippets of his life that reveal his heart and in so doing reveals my heart as well. In this particular scene, we get to see the anger of Jesus. Not something I tend to think a lot about to be honest. I like to cast my mind onto the meek and mild Jesus. The gentle and lowly Jesus. The Jesus that seems to be ok with my little faith and propensity to sin. But here I get to witness his anger as he looks around the room and sees the hardness of the leaders’ hearts. What brought this anger, he was grieved.
What does it mean to grieve? Think of it as deep mental suffering caused by sorrow often endured alone and in silence.* Do you see Jesus in this? Only Jesus truly understands what our rebellion means. These men who are leaders of the synagogue and teachers of the law were the ones who should have recognized Jesus for who he truly was. These religious leaders should have been anticipating the arrival of the Messiah and teaching the people to recognize his arrival. These men should have understood that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath. That the rules of the Sabbath were not more important than the Spirit of the Sabbath.
These men missed all of it. They were fully educated in spiritual matters. They were immersed in daily ministry for God. In every way they fully believed they were acting in accordance with the law and pleasing the Lord. Yet they still couldn’t see the Holy One standing in front of them. To make it all worse, they were even there to find a reason to accuse Jesus and be done with him.
And Jesus… He was grieved at the hardness of their heart. His righteous anger swelled at the way sin had infected the hearts of these men. These men who should have celebrated the healing of a suffering person on a Sabbath. They are witnessing a miracle. A man with a withered hand was restored to health without a single word passing the lips of Jesus. What should have brought awe and wonder to these men… What should have caused them to fall on their face in worship, produced the opposite in their hardened hearts. These men left this scene to plot together about destroying Jesus.
I feel this at times as well. I can take for granted my understanding and insight into God’s word. I gradually move from a place of understanding that God provides the insight to believing that I have this insight. My sin begins to taint my understanding of God’s word. This infects my heart and mind on a spiritual level and I begin to believe my own understanding of God’s word and stop allowing the word of God to engage and inform me. My heart begins to harden and I lose my way.
Praise the Lord that Jesus is angry and grieved over my hard heart as well. He doesn’t leave me to walk blindly through this world. He continues to show me miracles. He continues to woo me back to him. He continues to show me his gentle heart full of compassion and mercy and grace. A heart for sinners. A heart for renewal. A heart for transformation. I have not wandered too far from him that he cannot bring me back. Truly he knocks at the door of my heart continually. And when I open the door, he comes in to share a meal with me. We sit at the table he prepared and fellowship together. Engaging life with my Savior through repentance and faith.