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"…the Scriptures cannot be broken." John 10:35

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Mercy and Compassion Prevail

Written by | July, 2013
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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.
(Mark 3:1-6)

This episode is one of the few in the Scriptures which tell us that Jesus was angry. His anger was righteous in that it stemmed from His grief over the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts.

“The works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me”  (John 10:25)

The Pharisees had absolutely no compassion or mercy on the man with the withered hand. They were so serious about God’s law that they expanded on it, inventing their own notions about when the law was being broken and when it was being kept. Yet they did not have a true love of God in their hearts. They were so hard-hearted that they used Jesus’ compassion as a reason to accuse and condemn Him.

Jesus tried to get them to think about the true intent of the Sabbath, when He asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?”

What was the Pharisees’ reaction? We are told that “They kept silent.”

Were they silent because they were ashamed and realized that of course it is always right to do good and help others in need? Sad to say, that was not the reason for their silence, for they went away more determined than ever to destroy Jesus. They even joined forces with their avowed enemies, the Herodians, to plot Jesus’ death.
They were silent because they
had no defense.

In spite of their evil hatred and plotting against Him, the Savior had compassion on this man and healed him in the presence of them all.

What joy to know that Jesus has compassion on us, either healing our diseases and solving our problems or using them for our greater good! His mercy and compassion prevail in all our trials.

This miracle foreshadows the time when Jesus’ mercy and compassion would prevail over all evil. The Pharisees continued to plot Jesus’ death until it was God’s time for them to succeed. In His mercy and compassion for the world of sinners—including for the Pharisees and Herodians!—Jesus submitted to His Father’s will and allowed those hard-hearted Jews to crucify Him.

What joy to know that Jesus has compassion on us, either healing our diseases and solving our problems or using them for our greater good! His mercy and compassion prevail in all our trials.

In so doing Jesus has truly saved our lives. He has given us the true rest foreshadowed by the Sabbath day–rest from the torment of God’s punishment for our sin. He has won eternal rest for us from our own striving and working to please God. By His innocent suffering and death, Jesus has restored our relationship with God forever.

Since Jesus has conquered sin and death for us, He has prevailed over our naturally hard and weak hearts so that, as a fruit of faith in Him, we can use our hands and feet to do the works of God. At the same time, His Holy Spirit makes us bold to use our lips and tongue to proclaim the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.

Jesus’ mercy and compassion have prevailed for us. May we show mercy and compassion to all in His name and for His glory!

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