Jesus, guns and law…

Mark 3:1-6 (CEB)

Healing on the Sabbath

Jesus returned to the synagogue. A man with a withered hand was there. Wanting to bring charges against Jesus, they were watching Jesus closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Step up where people can see you.” Then he said to them, “Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they said nothing. Looking around at them with anger, deeply grieved at their unyielding hearts, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he did, and his hand was made healthy. At that, the Pharisees got together with the supporters of Herod to plan how to destroy Jesus.


Last week I posted something about Jesus laughing – and someone responded on facebook with the picture of “Laughing Jesus.”  That picture often shows up and people remark that you don’t often see pictures of Jesus laughing in church.  That may be true – but I have come across that picture of Jesus laughing many, many times in churches now – maybe because it is pretty much the only one.  It is certainly more common in churches than that picture of Angry Jesus (above) – though it is not as dramatic as kalashnikov Jesus! 🙂

(actually – type “Jesus with gun” into Google images – and there are dozens of options!)

Anyway – Angry Jesus.  yes, we all know he turned over the tables of the money-lenders – but it’s still not really an image of Jesus that has gained much popular currency.

Here he is – angry again…

He’s in the Synagogue – and here’s the third incident in a row where the pharisees are looking to trap him or trip him up with some legalistic trip-wire.  I don’t think that’s what makes him angry.

This time, Jesus engages the Pharisees BEFORE breaking any of their sabbath-laws.  He asks them a question.  He invites them into a conversation about the nature of the Sabbath – he wants them to engage with him about the blessing that Sabbath can be – about what God intends for God’s people in this grace-filled gift.  But they are silent.  They refuse to engage.  They are simply not interested in going there or having that conversation or opening themselves up to a real encounter.  I think that’s what actually angers him.  Jesus is angry that these religious people are so bent on having a confrontation about a petty interpretation of religious law in order to drag him down, that they miss the opportunity for a grace-filled encounter with the living God.

… fill in your own blanks about how this resonates with your own life (and don’t cast yourself as Jesus, here!)

Meanwhile, in America…

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