Jesus comes for you. With eyes on you, He knows what you need. He knows what you live for. He knows what you live without. He knows what you delight in. He knows what you have had to live through, fight through, pray for and wait for as you seek His face. Jesus is aware of every element of your heart. God promises to heal you, defend you, provide for you, love you, nourish you, equip you and sustain you. We look to this Savior… The One called Jesus who bled and died for humanity’s redemption. This is the Redeemer who we love, honor, respect and cherish with our whole lives. Jesus wants you to be loved like the blessed vibrancy of life that you are. You are His son and daughter. Let Him love you like Heaven does. Jesus comes to mark you with life. Vibrant life.
The Marks of Jesus we will talk about in today’s study.
Verse 2: Examination
Verse 3: Command
Verse 4: Life Priorities
Verse 5: Grief
Verse 6: Targeting
This week in our study of Marked by Jesus, we study Mark 3:2-6, as Jesus heals a man with a withered hand inside the synagogue where he has been seeking the Lord and not given healing from the leaders inside. This hand had experienced the plague of death spread into its extremities and Jesus notices the very second He enters the synagogue. Meanwhile, the eyes of the leaders inside the church had never attempted to heal the man. Why? Tradition kills life. Jesus had to eradicate their tradition in order to awaken life. We see the power and leadership of Jesus in this passage as He boldly acts to heal someone in need. Are you quick to heal others when they are in need? Jesus wants to mark us with His heart of compassion and love. May we learn from the heart of our King Jesus in this passage and how His authority prevails over all.
Verse 2: The Mark of Examination
“And they watched Jesus, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.”
Watched. Eyed. Observed. Noticed. Will He or won’t He? Can He or can He not?
They want to know what He is capable of. They want to know what has entered their space. So they carefully examine Him head to toe. They watch His every move to see what will unfurl from the mouth of the one like God. He is God, and they are about to find out they are not.
Jesus is Lord of their space. So He acts like it. No matter who is watching.
Jesus is God.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?” Job 38:4-7
Jesus carries the mark of examination by man, because He is worth examining.
There is something about Him worth looking at, investigating, searching, knowing and understanding. There will always be two kinds of people when it comes to this examination: 1) Those who examine to know and love and 2) those who examine to scheme and plot destruction.
Be the one who wants to know Jesus for love.
to know you Lord
to hold your heart
to see the glory
You’ve held from the start
my soul wants to love You
like the sun loves the sky
my soul wants to love You
like the angels love the light
Behold Jesus and fall in love with Him. Take notice of Him, for the right reasons.
The synagogue leaders had failed to notice the hand of the man who needed healing. Yet they were quick to notice Jesus. Why? Verse 2 says, “so that they might accuse Him.”
Jesus, the pure son of God, constantly received accusation after accusation from leaders who despised Him. They did not like that He carried authority. They did not like that He performed miracles. They did not like that He cared for the people. They did not like that He defied their traditions. They wanted their own power, and His power dismantled theirs. Thus, they would go on to scheme and plot against Him.
Purity is always attacked by evil.
“He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.” Isaiah 53:3
If you have pain in your life, Jesus knows how it feels. If you are suffering, Jesus knows how it feels. If you are accused of falsely, Jesus knows how it feels. Yet, Jesus conquers the attacks of the devil and you will too as you trust in Him.
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
Your reward is in Heaven, where God’s eyes are on you because He loves you. His eyes are not the eyes of examination and accusation. His eyes are the eyes of delight and love. Captivation and affection. Let God keep His eye on you and you will always be marked by His love.
“Keep your eyes on the Lord! You will shine like the sun and never blush with shame.” Psalm 34:5
God is in charge and when He holds command, He brings you closer to Him.
Verse 3: The Mark of Command
“And He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”
Jesus is in charge now. Everyone inside knows it, too. The leaders are watching Him closely to see what He will do. And He does what needs to be done. What should have been done all along. Jesus is going to heal the man’s withered hand back to full life and perfection.
Jesus is in command.
“Come here,” Jesus says to the man in verse 3.
Jesus speaks with authority.
Nothing scares Him or limits Him from speaking. Nothing restrains Him or keeps Him from ministering, healing, loving, and taking care of His people.
At this point, no one else is speaking but Jesus. When life and death are at stake, we need the voice of God to cut through the darkness. Jesus’ voice is a voice of life and we are going to see in verse 4 how he provokes the religious leaders to affirm this, even though they are unwilling. Jesus says what needs to be said in a room where nobody else was brave enough to say it.
“Come here,” Jesus commanded.
No one else was bold enough to get close to the man with the withered hand. They all stood at a distance. They stayed away. They would not talk to Him. But Jesus sees Him immediately and draws near. He tells him to come to Him. Now the man has a choice. Will he come to Jesus?
Jesus wants to heal you but you must come to Him when He commands you to. Don’t worry about who is telling you not to. His authority is greatest.
“For He taught with real authority—quite unlike their teachers of religious law.” Matthew 7:29
The mark of command makes you distinct. It sets you apart from the others who teach without power because they do not affirm the name of Jesus. Your affirmation of life from Jesus gives you supernatural power like never before.
Teach with authority like Jesus. Say His name and heal with His power.
If you want to be marked with the mark of command, it begins with following the commands of our God and King, Jesus Christ.
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” John 14:12
Verse 4: The Mark of Life Priorities
“And He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.”
What do you want? Good or bad? Life or death? Purity or sin?
Jesus hones in the priorities of the religious leaders inside the synagogue in order to teach them what really matters: life matters.
Life is a priority with God. He created life. He birthed life. He carries life. He sustains life. He immortalizes life.
“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
Jesus carries the mark of life in His DNA because He is the Creator of life. You carry the mark of life when you let Jesus redeem you and save you as His eternal beloved.
Jesus’ light is so beautifully majestic, it created life. Life will always be crucial and important to God.
What are your priorities?
Jesus asks the Pharisees to tell Him what their priorities are. They cannot answer. Because they do not know what truly matters, and this is a big problem. Leaders need to know what God’s priorities are.
Here in verse 4, Jesus asks them if it is proper “to save life or to kill?” but they do not answer Him. Verse goes on to say “But they were silent.” Silence on matters of life and death is a tragedy.
Don’t be silent when God asks you to speak up for someone’s life. For His life. For His Kingdom. For His truth. For His gospel. They could not speak up because they were used to being silent on matters of people’s needs.
Leaders who fail to take care of their flock reveal that they lack a relationship with Jesus.
“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” Matthew 7:15
These leaders here in the synagogue where Jesus entered were false prophets because they spoke of things pertaining to God that were inaccurate and furthered death for the people. Thus, when Jesus entered and sought to heal a man, they reacted with ferocious anger because they did not care about the man’s needs, and did not know God’s heart for leadership and for caring for the people.
Learn God’s heart.
His heart is love.
His heart is grace.
His heart is honor.
His heart is generous.
Jesus’ heart is marked with life. You know His heart through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and reading His Word.
Fall in love with Jesus and you will fall in love with people.
It is impossible to neglect people when you fall in love with Jesus.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34
Lack of love grieves Jesus heart as we will see as we go on this passage.
Verse 5: The Mark of Grief
“And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”
Jesus walks into the synagogue on the Sabbath, looks around, and sees something he does not condone: negligence.
Jesus notices what should be and what should not be. The latter grieves His heart.
Here in verse 5, a man with “a withered hand” sits in plain sight in front of the religious leaders and they have done nothing for years to help this man. They have ignored him, looked over him, passed over him, and refused to heal him. Jesus is grieved at this atrocity. God grieves with his people when heretical leaders deny people spiritual healing.
Refusing to help another person made by God is evil.
Verse 5 says of Jesus that he was “grieved at their hardness of heart.”
Grief marked the life of Jesus because of the people’s unwillingness to love others.
Hard hearts ignore others’ pain. This is a sign of death on the inside of the person who neglected the other. So Jesus enters with life and restores life to the one who was denied it.
Jesus cannot stand for people to ignore others’ pain. When you see someone suffering, in trauma, in loss, in sadness, in overwhelm, its your job as a follower of Jesus to comfort, mourn with, encourage, and pray with this person.
“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” Romans 12:15
You bring life to another when you empathize like Jesus does.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Jesus resists the hard hearts of the religious leaders and goes to the one who needs healing. He says in verse 5 “stretch out your hand.” In other words, Jesus is not concerned about the reproach of the synagogue leaders. Their disapproval of Jesus means nothing to Him. Evil people will always disapprove of pure people. Don’t try to win their approval. Jesus didn’t. He rebuked them plainly and kept healing despite them.
The man’s hand is restored as Jesus touches it. When God touches you, nobody else surrounding you can inhibit this healing. The religious leaders were right there eyeing Him. Jesus still heals.
Nobody else’s negative presence will limit Jesus’ power.
Yet, Jesus would continue to be targeted by these leaders throughout His whole ministry. Missions for God bring persecution.
Verse 6: The Mark of Targeting
“The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him, how to destroy Him.”
Jesus knew what it was like to be targeted for His power. Targeted for His divinity. Targeted for His miracles. Targeted for His purity.
Jesus defied the tradition of the Pharisees in order the heal the man plagued with death: a withered hand. His hand is restored back to life, but the Pharisees heart have not been restored to life because of their own hatred of Jesus’ goodness. Instead, they plot how to kill Him.
Evil hearts seek to kill pure hearts.
Jesus carries the mark of targeting because evil hearts continually sought to destroy him.
Those who plot evil against you will never prevail. Jesus prevails. And He will not let any human with an evil heart prevent him from healing His people.
Jesus defies every evil spirit that stands in His way.
“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21
Jesus overcomes evil with the goodness of who He is. Still, the goodness of who He is necessitates wrath on evil spirits in order to eradicate that presence from existence so that the New Heaven and New Earth can exist in pure good. Jesus may be targeted by evil spirits, but He targets the evil in order that it will be obliterated.
“Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
Jesus provokes evil spirits to war against Him. Spirits of good and evil are always warring. We only see it when we choose to act with the Spirit of God, because that makes the vile, evil spirits react with evil.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
Trust in God no matter what. He is the victor over evil spirits.
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11
You need Jesus’ power in you through His armor of His Word and Spirit if you want to stand firm in spiritual warfare because spiritual warfare is won by your faith in Jesus, so have no fear. His power triumphs over all.
“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
Why would God say to pray for your enemies? Because sustains your heart with purity.
In this life, your spiritual life in Christ attracts enemies because they hate Christ. Yet, Jesus says love is the only antidote for the human’s experience of being attacked by an enemy. You will not overcome this battle unless you love.
Jesus says to love your enemies because the human heart cannot handle seeking vengeance. That is God’s job. He is pure and knows how to do it in the right way. It is not your mantle to carry. Let God bring justice and you focus on increasing goodwill in your heart towards others.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5
My Favorite Takeaway From The Passage
“The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him.” Mark 3:6
Jesus is so powerful that He provokes attention. He inspires dead people to finally make a move. Verse 6 says “immediately” they held counsel. Yes, it is the wrong move they are making. They are not choosing to rally for Jesus but are choosing to plot against Jesus. Yet, it’s interesting that these Pharisees have been sitting stagnant for years. Now Jesus shows up and all the sudden, they get moving real quick.
The Spirit of God provokes you. It inspires pure spirits with zeal and affection. It infuriates demonic spirits with animosity. Still, the Spirit of God provokes dead people to rise and take action, even for the wrong motives and intentions.
I find this fascinating because it reminds me that Jesus carries power over people. Even those who dislike Jesus still react because of Jesus. It is impossible for Jesus to walk into a room and receive no reactions. He will receive both celebratory reactions and hateful reactions. Love and hate. For He is the King of the universe and His presence divides every space in two: those who love Him and those who hate Him. Nobody can sit still when Jesus enters.
Everyone shifts their priorities inevitably.
How do you shift your priorities when Jesus enters your life?
Everything revolves around Jesus, either way.
Either you will love Him passionately or you will hate Him passionately.
Either way, Jesus has your attention.
He always will.