Daily Thoughts : July 20th
Mark 3:1 Another time he went into the synagogue, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
Sometimes very simple pieces of Scripture speak volumes. Jesus enters the local synagogue as was his practice. Here, after all, would be the people most likely to receive him, you would think, the religious people, the people who have come to learn from God. The synagogue was not primarily a place of worship, like the Temple, it was more a place of teaching and prayer. Teaching the word was the important thing that went on in the synagogue.
But here, on this day, was a man with a shrivelled hand. We aren't told why he had it, just that he had it. We aren't told how often he had been coming to the synagogue but the odds are that it had been for some time – and he's still got a shrivelled hand. Why? Because no one expects anything else!
I mean, the word of God is just for listening to, isn't it! It doesn't DO anything. We mustn't expect anything of it. Well, actually, the one thing it should do is draw us closer to the Lord, giving us a sense of His reality. Hopefully it should raise faith in us, so that we come to a place of belief where God can come and work in and through us. Jesus demonstrated this. He healed the man.
Within the church, do we expect to encounter the Lord? Do we expect our experience of Him simply to be hearing words from the past, or can we come into a place of belief where we are open to Him so that He can prompt us by His Spirit and flow through us and bring change?
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