Because Mark presents Jesus as Servant, we will read a lot of what Jesus DOES! And there is no better word to use than…
Amazement: People constantly wanted to be around Jesus. Who wouldn’t?! He taught the Bible like no one before, He was healing people, casting out demons, calming storms – the special effects in themselves would have been pretty incredible to see! He always drew a crowd, and apparently if you can’t push through the crowd to get to Jesus, you come in from above! Jesus is so impressed with their FAITH that He tells the paralytic “Son, your sins are forgiven." (This statement upset the religious peeps) And you guessed it, the guy walked away! Was this amazing? Absolutely! But what is more amazing is “Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, ‘Why are you thinking these things?’” I think they were even more amazed (& scared) that Jesus knew exactly what they were thinking!
An Outcast: Tax Collectors were seen as traitors. They were worked for the Roman government (the enemy) as well as collected extra for themselves when they made their rounds. So when Jesus says to Matthew “follow me” He was not out to win neighbors and influence friends! We see that in the Pharisees disapproval to Jesus eating at Matthew’s home. Jesus’ reply? “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Jesus loved all people and was a cheerleader of the Outcasts!
Overruling: If there is one thing clear in Scripture over & over again is that Jesus overrules. Two times here – First fasting: The Pharisees were upset that Jesus’ disciples were not fasting (rules). Jesus basically tells them that would be a bit awkward since fasting involves mourning HE is with them (relationship). This should be a time of celebration, not mourning. Second the Sabbath: Again, tradition & rules are being held above relationship. The idea of the Sabbath was rest, but rabbis had added all kinds of goofy restrictions - like you couldn’t travel 3000 feet from your home, etc… The disciples were not breaking God’s law, just these silly, added traditions. Maybe the real sin was that the rabbis were holding their “traditions” as equal to God’s Word!~
*Does Jesus amaze you? Are you drawn to Him? OT peeps were! What about Jesus is most attractive to you? His Love? Compassion? Power? Wisdom? Why not thank Him for whatever it is that attracts you to Him?! And, since He knows our thoughts, let’s ask forgiveness for our sins as well!
*All over scripture, God is reaching out to the poor, the helpless, the shameful, the weak. This is just the opposite of our culture where the rich, talented, athletic, funny and intellectual are seen as the biggest assets. Who can you reach out to today? Someone sitting by themselves? That person with a bad attitude? That friend who is so high maintenance? Etc… You never know what kind of an impact you could make in their life! Go for it!
*When it comes to your Christian life, are you more about the rules or the relationship? Without a doubt, God has holy standards that He desires us to seek, but if those become our focus we will miss out on the joy of the relationship! Dine with Jesus – today & everyday! He’s knocking……let Him in!