Mark 3: 1 - 6, And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man 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 when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by 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 and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. NKJV
I was reading all the miracles that Jesus performed, which are recorded in Mark's gospel, and I was amazed at the hardness of the scribes and Pharisees' hearts. Instead of the Jewish leaders of the synagogue rejoicing over the various miracles that were taking place in their sight, they chose to dwell on ways to destroy Jesus.
What did these men see so wrong with Jesus that they felt they had to seek a way to kill Him? Why couldn't they be glad that members of their community and perhaps members of their synagogue were now made whole? In spite of witnessing the miraculous works Jesus performed in their midst, they still chose to harden their hearts to Jesus as being the Messiah. You see; to the religious zealots, the conflict wasn't over the miracles. It was the authority Jesus exercised that enraged them against Him.
Even though Jesus had given them examples of healing, miracles, deliverance, and salvations, they kept their hearts hardened against Him and refused to believe that Jesus was anything other than a good man "who claimed to be the Son of God." As I read the verses that were used for today's word, I was reminded of the children of Israel and the mistake that they made with God in the wilderness.
The writer of Hebrews tells us that even though God performed mighty works for forty years on their behalf, the children of Israel refused to hear the voice of God. While they enjoyed the favor and blessings of the Lord in the wilderness, they declined to allow their hearts to believe in Him as their God. As a result, the writer tells us that God became angry with that generation and said, "They always go astray in their hearts, not knowing the ways of God." Consequently, God swore that they wouldn't be allowed to enter into His rest.
Jesus saw their hardness of heart when He healed the man with a withered hand, and He became grieved in His Spirit and was angry at them. They allowed unbelief to blind them to Jesus' true identity. They saw the mighty miracles, but rejected Jesus as being their Messiah in the flesh.
You might think that if people were to see miracles such as those in Jesus' day done today, they would open their hearts to Jesus? The truth is nothing has changed since the days of the children of Israel, and the day that Jesus walked on the earth. Jesus said that He wasn't sent to call the righteous, but the sinners to repentance. So although people today aren't moved to faith when they see a notable miracle of God, God still heals, delivers, and saves those who are humble and hungry for Him. He goes where He is welcomed.
At World Harvest Church North, we have seen many notable and documented miracles that defy physics. Only God could have done what has transpired in the lives of many people in our church. Doctors have confirmed a couple of the miracles as "acts of God," and to Jesus be all glory and praise. If you are in need of a healing touch today, you can contact us with your prayer request at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jesus Christ the Same,
Pastor Asa Dockery