The Joshua study guide is on sale through the end of April. Our online price is $13 but through May 1 we are selling the Joshua study guides for $10 each. The study of Joshua reminds us that God keeps his promises but we have the responsibility to claim them.
Mark 3:9-11 “And He told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him because of the multitude, in order that they might not crowd Him; for he had healed many, with the result that all those who had afflictions pressed about Him in order to touch Him. And whenever the unclean spirits beheld Him, they would fall down before Him and cry out, saying, “You are the Son of God!”.”
Two groups; the first group was unclean physically, the second group unclean spiritually. Notice their reactions upon encountering Jesus:
- Those who needed to be healed clamored to Him motivated by their belief that they would be healed by just touching Him.
- The second group stopped in their tracks, falling down before Him confessing Him as the Son of God.
One group believed He could heal them, the other group confessed who He was.
Belief and Confession, both fundamental to being in a saving relationship with Jesus.
Mark 3:6: “And the Pharisees went out and immediately began taking counsel with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him.”
The Pharisees, strict Jewish legalists who expended great effort to appear loyal to God, did something that seemed to impugn the image they obsessively portrayed, they crossed party lines. They conspired with the Herodians, another Jewish group motivated by the political agenda to keep a ‘Herod’ on the throne under Roman rule. Both groups with agendas, just different motivations. Both jockeying for power and motivated by the aggrandizement of themselves.
How could a group of people who were first hand witnesses to Jesus’ healing conspire to destroy Him? Why would they be opposed to wonders and miracles that improved the lives of others? Was it the authority that radiated from him? Was it because He and his disciples did not follow their rules? Was it because He associated with people they would never socialize with? Was it what He said about the Sabbath? Perhaps all of those but maybe even deeper than that. His presence revealed many things about themselves:
- It exposed their phony veneer to those who held them in high esteem.
- It made them look at themselves for who they really were.
- It challenged their defective thinking of what Holy and Sacred meant bringing condemnation down upon themselves.
- It discredited their displays of piety and devout demeanor.
- It annoyed them because He could read their minds and examine their hearts.
- The adoration they sought from others was being given to Him.
- His compassion elevated the sick, weak, and unclean, eliminating the Pharisees and scribes social class boundaries and privileges.
After being eye witnesses to His power and authority didn’t they have an inkling of what He could do to or for them? Well, maybe they did. Perhaps they realized He had the power and authority to bring their façade tumbling down. By forging an alliance with a group that had the physical resources backed by the might of the Roman Empire, they had a chance to permanently remove Him from the adoring throngs, preserving their power network and their life of social and religious elevation.
What the Pharisees did in Mark 3:6 is so wrong—and we must be careful not to do the same when His presence:
- reveals our phony veneer
- exposes our unrighteous behavior
- challenges our defective thinking about the Holy and Sacred
- discredits our masks of pious and devout conduct
- makes us realize we can keep nothing hidden from Him.
- illuminates our dark thoughts and unclean hearts
- eliminates the boundaries and privileges between us and the sick, weak and unclean—including ourselves.
The only life-saving response for us is to run to Him for cleansing, forgiveness, and healing. He was willing to heal the Pharisees…if they would only have ran to Him instead of trying to preserve the lie they were living.
What does the presence of Jesus in your life reveal about yourself? What behaviors and thoughts do you need Him to heal, cleanse and forgive?
Run to HIM! He’s waiting for you!