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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 024 - Sonny and Cher Are Right

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?”

Mark 2:23,24

Yes, The Beat Goes On[1]. The beat goes on, and on, and on. It doesn’t just go on, it gets louder and stronger. The spiritual leaders, those in power, people with a solid and powerful place within the Hebrew “hierarchy” continue to ratchet up their observations and reactions. Here are a few examples.

· Forgiving and healing paralytic – Mark 2:6,7

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Their first reaction is talking to the air. They were thinking to themselves.

· Dinner at Matthew’s house – Mark 2:16

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”

Their second reaction was to Jesus’ disciples. Again, they didn’t speak directly to Jesus but to his followers.

Now, when Jesus and his disciples are walking through a grainfield, they finally screw up their courage and talk directly to Jesus. The Pharisees didn’t just say “look” but kept saying over and over again, “Look. Look. Look.”

Think about this for a minute. In order for the Pharisees to have time to keep on saying look, look, look, something had to happen. Or should I say that something didn’t happen. It means that Jesus didn’t immediately respond to their first “look.” This went on for a while. They were walking through fields of grain for a while, and the disciples were picking and eating the grain for a while. And as they were walking and eating, the Pharisees kept on saying, “look.” After a while they said it again. And again. And again.

Their words, their accusations, are not directly against Jesus but against his followers. Jesus isn’t harvesting and eating the grain, but the disciples are. This isn’t a personal accusation about Jesus’ action, but about his leadership and teaching. It’s about his lack of action, his lack of guidance, his lack of control, his lack of discipline over his followers.

Jesus wisely didn’t immediately respond. He didn’t react after the first “look.” He didn’t smack them upside of the head with a frying pan even after the second “look.” He didn’t pick up his cell phone and post something on social media right after the first couple of “looks.” He said nothing, he waited.

We would be wise to follow Jesus’ pattern when people say things to accuse us, to threaten us. There’s no need to respond to each and every comment. Life’s not a tennis match where you have to chase down and swing at each and every ball hit on our side of the court. Like a good and wise quarterback, there are times to just take a sack.

One clever leader explained it this way. They didn’t have enough time, energy, or patience to try and answer each and every attack. They chooses not to correct each misquote or accusation. They were going to stay focused on their main task. They weren’t going to let the enemy win by chasing after all this other stuff. Or, to quote Stephen Covey.

The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

How’s your focus today? Are you concentrating on the main thing? The important thing? Or are you distracted like so many flies swarming around some decaying, rotting, discarded piece of food?

You may not have a top position in your community. You may not be some great leader with an immense social media following. You might not even be able to speak or write all that well. But that doesn’t mean that you are not important to God. It doesn’t mean that he can’t use you significantly. If it did, then God made a mistake when he made you, and he’s too weak to empower you.

Now is the day, now is the time to step up and let God speak to you, to speak through you, to act through you. It doesn’t take great strength, a brilliant mind, gifted speaking abilities. All it takes is a humble heart and a willingness to do what God says.

Now, that’s not all that difficult. Is it?


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