The Plight of the Pharisees in Mark 3
Mark 3:1-6,20-30 NKJV
“1And- He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
They actually waited like vultures for The LORD to heal someone, that they might accuse Him of doing wrong. Now isn’t that perverted thinking?
But it also shows the role of suspicion and perversion in Pharisaical strongholds. Who would look to accuse someone when they are doing nothing but GOOD?
3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 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.
Jesus already knew their thoughts when He called for the man with the withered hand to come forward and He says to them, “Is it lawful to do good or evil, to save life or kill.”
Knowing all along they had murder in their hearts, He asks them this. Hatred in the heart is the same as murder. He knew what they were up to and uses an example that illustrates their condition.
5 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. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
How sad this is. He is angry, knowing their hardened hearts. And He says to the man “stretch out your hand” and he is healed. Interesting that he would use this particular man, a man with a withered hand.
To me, it is an object lesson The LORD is giving, like saying… “SEE, this man’s hand is like yours spiritually. You see the need, yet will not stretch forth YOUR hand to do anything to help, and want to kill me for doing something to help. Then the man’s hand is healed.”
Jesus in the process, would have liked to see the hands of the Pharisees healed.
They were known for their greed and graft, and self indulgences rather than for generosity. So the withered hand lesson is more than just a withered hand.
He wanted to show them He was able to heal what was in their heart ♥ if they would just come to Him. Yet we see, instead, they plotted to destroy Him.
“20 Then the multitude came together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 21 But when His own people heard about this, they went out to lay hold of Him, for they said, “He is out of His mind.”
22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebub,” and, “By the ruler of the demons He casts out demons.”
23 So He called them to Himself and said to them in parables: “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself, and is divided, he cannot stand, but has an end. 27 No one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. And then he will plunder his house.”“
So He heals multitudes and casts out demons which at the time was even more astonishing to the multitudes, and the Pharisees accuse Him of having a demon!
And He says, “How can Beelzebub (Satan) cast out Satan ?” He lays waste all the perversion of truth with “a Kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.” Why would Satan rise up against himself?
Then He says, “No one can enter a strong man’s house, and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then he can plunder his house!”
I have always thought of that meaning first you bind the strongman over the home, or business, or person, family, whatever, and this does work.
But The LORD was showing me something in application to our OWN lives in, that the strongman in US must also be bound and gagged, and thrown out, if we want the power to do it for others.
For example…. If I have a great fear of man, how can I cast it out of others? Except by the blood of Jesus?
Now I knew as a young believer that we can cast out demons, as God let me do it when I wasn’t healed and delivered myself — so how does this all work?
GRACE, GRACE, GRACE is the answer!
God’s Grace that is His Power. But if we really want more of HIS Power, then we must want to be totally possessed by The Holy Spirit — fully — so that there is nothing in US that the enemy can attack.
Remember that Jesus said “He has nothing in Me!” (John 14:30) The enemy had NOTHING on Him, because HE was sinless.
We are not sinless. Our power and authority is IN HIM. We must appropriate it, and in humility, admitting we can do nothing apart from Him and binding any influences in our own lives that would keep us from being effective ministers of reconciliation.
But the best is to be so cleansed of unrighteousness that truly the enemy has nothing in us. We must walk in daily repentance and daily communion with God to do that.
“28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation” — 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.” ”
Calling the work of The Holy Spirit, the work of the devil, is just a place you don’t want to ever walk in!
I also find this interesting that The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and The Father are one, so saying that The Works of The Spirit are of the devil is of tremendous insult to The Trinity.
It is detracting from The Sovereignty of God Almighty. It is saying we know more than GOD, reducing Him to the gods of this world, another thing we should never do, but in a sense we often do this by “limiting God,” or by our unbelief that He will come through for us.
That is why He is grieved by the soul that withdraws from the HOPE that is in Him.
He is our Hope. Christ in us, the Hope of Glory. He will keep him in perfect peace, whose eyes are stayed on HIM.
Yet in The Epistle of 1 John, The LORD says if our heart fails us, He is greater than our heart. GRACE, GRACE, GRACE to all…. (1 John 3:20).
~ Priscilla Van Sutphin
PRISCILLA VAN SUTPHIN is the founder of Upstream Ministries, California, online at www.upstreamca.org and blogtalkradio.com/ Upstream. Donate to Upstream: via secure Paypal by sending as gift to upstream.ca @me.com or send to: Upstream, PMB 545, 14311 Newport Blvd, Suite G, Tustin, CA 9278, USA.