Monday: “Have You Not Read . . .?”

Unfortunately, some of the most powerful and influential people with whom Jesus dealt were the religious leaders of His time, many of whom were openly hostile to Him.

Image © Steve Creitz from

Image © Steve Creitz from

Yet, even in His encounters with them, Jesus always sought to be redemptive. He wasn’t seeking arguments; He was seeking the salvation of all people, even of those powerful and influential people who would eventually condemn Him to death.

Read Mark 2:23-28, 3:1-6 and Matthew 12:1-16. How can we see, in these encounters, that Jesus-despite the overt hostility against Him-was trying to reach these men? What did He say, and do, that should have touched their hearts, were they not so closed?

It’s interesting that, in dealing with these people, Jesus referred to the Scriptures and even sacred history, sources that should have touched the religious leaders. Jesus was appealing to what should have been common ground between them. For instance, He quoted the Bible when He talked about the importance of mercy over ritual. By so doing He sought to bring the leaders to a deeper meaning of the law that they claimed to so fervently and devoutly cherish and uphold.

In His discourse about pulling an animal out of a pit on the Sabbath day, Jesus then appealed to their most basic notions of decency and kindness, something that these men all should have related to. The problem, however, was that their bitterness and hatred toward Jesus clouded even that.

Finally, the miracles themselves should have spoken loudly to these influential leaders about the extraordinary Man among them.

It’s easy, from our position today, to look back in wonder at the blindness and hardness of these men. How, though, can we make sure that we ourselves, seeking to protect something that we don’t want to give up, don’t close ourselves to more light from God? Why is that easier to do than we might think?



Monday: “Have You Not Read . . .?” — 6 Comments

  1. The Pharisees made and sought to enforce rules which in some cases were nearly impossible for the Pharisees themselves to keep or they would not observe some of these under certain circustances (Luke 14:3-6)

    We should never be more cautious than when we hold the reins of power and are tempted to require of others that which we would hardly require of ourselves. The meekness and self-sacrificing manner of Moses in dealing with the difficult congregation of Israel is instructive.

    The handling of Korah's rebellion (Numbers 16) and his attitude when Israel was faced with mass punishment for their great sin (Exodus 32: 30-35) demonstrated that Moses did not set himself above the people.

  2. I think the real reason the church leaders rejected Christ was because of greed and selfishness. They really didn’t hate Jesus per se, they just were afraid that they were going to lose their tidy little financial nest egg. One of Jesus parables seems to point to this problem (Mat 21:33-39; see also Jn 11:48).

    They also had a racket going on in the temple that was netting them a small fortune through fraud which Jesus criticized and decidedly acted on (Mat 21:12-13).

    • I like your comment but I think the rich in the temple hated Jesus for many reasons.
      1. He was from Nazareth. One asked after he was told to come and see the Messiah. "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?
      2. He was seen as a bastard son.
      3. His parent never sent him to their school. He is so edu and wants to teach them.

  3. When we think about the struggle Jesus went throughto make sure we get it right so our life could be in subjection with him,brethren we have to be great example for him,we have to live right,and shine that light ,so the world can see,and glorify GOD..

  4. Sabbath is not made to observe a list of doe's and don'ts. Jesus showed that, it is a sanctified, sacred, happy and benevolent day of peaceful rest. A blessed day to praise,to worship,to honor,to glorify and to enjoy God's most beautiful creation. It is also a day to pray for all peoples for their healing, to witness of the great, and amazing love of God.

  5. in discipling others to Christ, especially those in authority, we may meet with rejection and strong opposition, and many other challenges, we should not be discouraged, our only objective should be to bring those souls to Jesus.


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