When Jesus Got Angry at Church:
“And (Jesus) 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.” (Mark 3:1-5).
Here is a very interesting story in the life of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Jesus went to church one day, and saw a man who had a disease that had crippled his hand. The Pharisees were there, watching Jesus closely, to see if He would heal on the Sabbath, so they could accuse Him. Can you believe that? Here was Jesus, a compassionate, loving Healer, who had the power to make a man well, and these religious leaders were looking for a way to accuse Him of doing something wrong. So what did Jesus do? He said to the man with the withered hand, “Step forward.” In other words, “Come out here in front of everyone so they can all see what I’m about to do.” At this point, it says that Jesus looked at the religious leaders with anger. Did you ever wonder how Jesus, the compassionate, tender, loving Shepherd could get so angry? Jesus was angry because their hearts were so cold and hard, because they cared more about their religious system of rules, then they did about caring for people. So Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” When the man stretched it out, his hand was instantly and miraculously healed.
I think that this story has an amazing parallel to the Christian church today. There are many people who say that they don’t believe in healing, and that God doesn’t do miracles anymore. They get angry whenever a Christian stands up in faith and says he dares to believe that God still heals today. “The day of miracles is past,” they exclaim, “and healing died out with the apostles.” However, the Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8). Exodus 15:26 says, “For I am the Lord who heals you.” Notice it doesn’t say, “I was the Lord who heals you,” or “I will be the Lord who heals you for a certain period of time until the apostles die out,” but rather, “I am the Lord who heals you.” Our God is a loving and healing God who wants to heal and help and comfort and restore and make whole!
Although I must confess that I don’t understand why people don’t always get healed, that won’t stop me from obeying God and praying for the sick. There are times when I have prayed for people and they haven’t gotten healed, but there are also times where I have prayed for people and they have been healed. Our job is not to get people healed, rather, our mission is to reach out to people in love, to pray for the sick, and to make God’s healing power and compassion available to them. Jesus is the Healer, not us. See here the love of Jesus for broken, hurting, sick and lonely people: “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9:35-38).
Pastor Chris Jordan