being watched

Good morning!

I was in a meeting yesterday when someone decided to tell a story to illustrate a point but stopped short of the punch line, looked at me and said – “oh I had better not”!

Although it was a little embarrassing actually it helped me realise that by the grace and help of God the light He has in me is shining.

Mark ch 3 vs 1-2 tells us the story of the people leaders of the day trying to trap Jesus by setting him up to heal someone on the “wrong day”.

On this particular occasion, the Pharisees were at the synagogue ready to entrap Jesus for His use of the Sabbath. When He came to the man with the withered hand, they watched and waited, suggesting that the Pharisees expected Christ to intervene and heal the man. They had decided that no matter what He did, they would find fault with it, to use it as the ground of an accusation before the local tribunal. The rabbis allowed Sabbath healing in cases of life and death, but a withered hand did not meet the criteria.

From the beginning, the scribes and Pharisees had persistently opposed Christs teaching because He exposed their hypocrisy, which in turn reduced their influence among the people. Jesus knew of their hatred toward Him even before they began to hinder His work. As the word “watch” implies, they were spying on Him, scrutinizing every move He made.

Christians should not expect to fare any better—in fact, we should count it all joy (James 1 v 2) because the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared” with the coming glory (Romans 8 v 18). In trying to uphold righteous standards, Christians are often watched by a suspicious world. Jesus says, “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. . . . But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. . . . They hated Me without a cause” (John 15 v 20-21, 25).

In order never to give anyone a reason to blaspheme, our lives must be sterling examples of God’s way of life and for those of us at work – this might be hard but it is absolutely critical.

Have a good week

Mark

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