And Yet Another Variation On A Theme. “Is It Lawful?”
“And He said unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.” Mark 3:4
Have you ever notice that once you acquire something you then start to see it all over the place? You never really noticed it before until it was that which interested you. That happened when we got our Volkswagen Jetta. We’d never had a Volkswagen before and so I never really took notice of them when I was driving. But, once we had ours I saw them everywhere. Funny how that works.
I now have a similar response in my reading of the Bible. Things which I hadn’t focused upon as a “Christian” under Grace, are now becoming larger on the landscape of my awareness and understanding. They seem to pop up every where now. It’s great, actually.
So, why didn’t I see Volkswagens on the road? Why didn’t I notice that which I now notice in the Bible?
I think the two have something in common … an interest that now goes beyond the surface. Since the Volkswagen is mine, I take a greater interest in the world of Volkswagens. Now that I’m involved in a Hebraic/Messianic mindset, the Bible as one unified whole has captivated my awareness and perspective.
The turn around in my mind and heart has been nothing short of miraculous. I’ve said before this processional shift is just about as supernatural as my salvation. Meaning? Meaning both were acts of God’s grace apart from any previous involvement on my part.
Yes, God had been working in my heart long before the moment of my salvation. However, I can say that at the time my salvation happened I wasn’t “looking” for God. The same is true with this new Messianic mindset I now have. Yes, God had been working in my heart long before I was aware anything like this existed. And, since I didn’t know there were others thinking about any of this, I wasn’t looking.
But I did have thoughts and questions for years about the seeming discontinuity between the OT God and the NT God. Were there really two versions of God in the Bible? — The OT God of wrath and Law verses the NT God of love and grace?
It wasn’t ever easy for me to slice up the Bible like a pie or cake. If God is anything, He is a unified, consistent, uncomplicated God. The reality that we tend to think otherwise is proof once again that we try to create God in our own image: a discombobulated, inconsistent, complicated mess.
I, for one, refuse any longer to believe God is anything less than He is. He is, always has been, and always will be the same yesterday, today and forever.
So back to the verse …
Yeshua is, in essence, asking them what their standard of faith and practice is. He wants them to think through the implications and ramifications of what they say they believe or don’t believe.
And Yeshua did what only He could do so well: He puts them into a dilemma, a tight spot, an uncomfortable position. He is forcing them to confront themselves. What can they say that won’t trap them and show their hypocrisy?
It’s so awesome to see Yeshua at work. He’s so straightforward when He needs to be. He is even more so with the religious elite … those who should know better. He cuts them no slack whatsoever.
Yeshua wants to know what standard they’re using. He’s asking them if what they believe is in accordance with the law. And that being the question, what law could Yeshua be referring to?
To help answer that question we need only to ask: What standard governed His life and actions? Man’s laws? I trow not. His own Laws/Torah? I trow yes. He was the Torah manifested in the flesh.
My desire here isn’t to sort out the implications of what Yeshua was asking them. What I want us to see is that they are caught on the proverbial horns of a dilemma.
Some of those gathered in the synagogue were endeavoring to prove that Yeshua’s theology was in error. The Torah, they purport, forbids these gracious acts on the Sabbath. And yet, they are the same ones that will ultimately transgress the Torah by their evil thoughts and actions against Him. So much so, that they will get Him crucified.
Accepting the Torah, as relevant and consistent with God and His grace, opens up simple teachings of Yeshua like this one in Mark chapter three. You can’t really proceed at all until you determine this whole issue of the Law.
For some reason, Christians seem to have arrived at a mindset which says: “We know and understand it all now. There’s no need to reexamine our theology.” But, we don’t know it all and we do need to challenge our theology every now and then. God’s Word is infallible, not us.
Our understanding and comprehension of Law/Torah is vital. Unless we’re willing to acknowledge the inconsistencies in our theologies, we will be tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We will be double minded, unstable in all our ways. Unfit for end times victorious living.
Satan knows all this. It’s his purpose and goal to distort and misrepresent what God has said in His Word. “Yea, hath God said?” By the looks of things, Satan has done a pretty bang-up job dividing and confusing people between what God HAS said and what we WANT Him to say.
God is not the author of confusion. That’s the beauty of God. He’s not hard to “find” or “understand” unless we make Him that way. We work so hard to make the Bible fit our Dispensational and/or Theological mindsets, that we surpass all normal rationality. Why …?
Could it be we’re afraid to reevaluate our theologies because of what we might actually discover?
Here’s what I think. Some of God’s people, deep down inside, sense that their nicely assembled Theological Tool Box is missing a few wrenches.
Unless we are willing to consider that God might not totally subscribe to our embedded theologies, we will continue to be trapped in the revolving door of blindly following our theologians.
For those that might be up for the challenge, consider the two things mentioned in Mark 3:4 —
The Law — Done away with? Are you sure? How much? Which parts? Who decides? Has anyone decided? Is the Law good or … is it good that the Law’s been done away with?
The Sabbath — Changed to Sunday? Who changed it? Where does it say, definitively, that it was changed? What has more Scriptural support: Saturday worship or Sunday worship?
Allow me ask to ask what Yeshua asked of others: Are your beliefs and practices lawful?
Now … figure out what law He’s talking about.