What Ticked Jesus Off? ~ blog
There were a number of times when Jesus got noticeably angry. Of course, most famous was when He saw the money changers in the Temple courts taking people regular money and giving them “special” money that had to be used in giving to the priests in the Temple. They were also making quite a nice profit selling animals for the people to offer as sacrifices to God.
Upon seeing how the Temple had become commercialized and people were getting ripped off, Jesus made a “scourge of cords.” Now, I do not know what a scourge of cords looks like, but it sounds to me like a weapon. So, I am thinking something like Jewish num-chucks. So, Jesus was kung-fu fighting and that cat was fast as lightning.
All of the profiteers run for their lives as Jesus sets all the animals free and overturns the tables of the moneychangers. And something tells me that Judas was picking up a little coin to supplement the ministry for future endeavors.
Mark records another time when Jesus became angry. The Pharisees had an idea on how to entrap Jesus. They set things up in the synagogue so that a man with a withered hand would be there. They wanted to see if Jesus would heal someone on the Sabbath. I mean after all what a tremendous sin it would be to heal someone on the Sabbath. You’ve got six days in the week for this healing stuff so no healing on the Sabbath … or “No Soup for You!!!” thought the religious Nazi’s.
I actually think Jesus, maybe deep down, loved these opportunities to demonstrate how ridiculous their legalistic thinking had made them. I mean, after all, what a horrible thing to do on the Sabbath. To heal a man’s withered hand so that he could use it again and work with his hands and actually be able to care for himself and his family.
Jesus asks the man to stand up and come forward to the front of the synagogue. He knew exactly what they were thinking. He could have done it privately after the service, but he wanted to put the Pharisees and their twisted ways of thinking on display. So, he says to the man and to the crowd;
“Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?”
Do not miss the intent of Jesus’s words. He is equating doing good to saving a life and to do harm as to taking a life. Their legalistic ways of thinking were on steroids when it came to the Sabbath. Heaven forbid that one would have an accident and their life be in danger because nobody could help the person.
“I see you lying there bleeding to death, but I cannot help you because it is the Sabbath and you are s**t out of luck … sucks to be you … have a nice day.”
Jesus was not into playing their game. He knew they were only trying to set Him up. And when they failed to answer His question we read;
“But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart…”
Jesus is angry and He is grieved. He is grieved at their hardness of heart. In other words, because their focus was so intent on “keeping the Sabbath holy” … by not doing any work, even if it meant saving another’s life, their hearts were hardened by allowing the Law a higher priority than helping a fellow human being.
So, Jesus, in front of everybody, tells the man to stretch out his hand and as he stretches it out it had already been restored. What an amazing event for this man and his family and friends. They are amazed and in wonder of Jesus. However, the Pharisees went out and immediately began plotting with Herod’s followers how they might destroy Him. Not make Him leave town. Not sit in the penalty box. Not do a week in jail … but destroy Him. I mean, after all, He healed a man on the Sabbath. Certainly, something deserving the death penalty they thought.
Do you know what angers me? When churches and their leaders get all uptight about having a ministry to men who struggle with sexual brokenness. Three years ago, my pastor Rich Nathan, sent an email out to the top 30 Vineyard churches in the USA. Rich is one of the most respected preachers and leaders in the entire Vineyard movement and leads the largest church in the movement.
Vineyard Columbus allowed us to start a ministry called 180 on February 9th, 2009. It had grown from 9 men to over 100 attending weekly and Rich was encouraging these pastors to look at the 180 Recovery Program as something they should look at for helping the few men in their church who might be struggling with porn. And by a few, I mean 50-60%.
I followed up that email with one of my own telling them I would be contacting them to discuss starting a 180 Ministry in their church. Do you want to know how many of those churches responded … one. I was somewhat devastated. I had poured my heart and soul into developing a program that was biblical and had a proven track record in helping sexually addicted men and only one church showed an interest.
However, after 47 years of following Jesus I know that if He closes one door, He opens another. We now have made available to everyone the 180 Recovery Program videos. We have also started 12 Online Support Teams helping over 107 men in 11 different nations.
If you are interested in purchasing the 25 videos of the 180 Recovery Program for yourself and or join one of our Online Support Teams, please email me for more information.