What They Noticed
28 February 2017
Reading: Numbers 24-27; Mark 7
1 One day some Pharisees and teachers of religious law arrived from Jerusalem to confront Jesus. 2 They noticed that some of Jesus’ disciples failed to follow the usual Jewish ritual of hand washing before eating. (Mark 7:1-2 NLT)
A group of Jewish traditionalists, the self-appointed “defenders of the faith,” made the three-day journey all the way from Jerusalem to confront Jesus for his “heretical teaching.” Actually, they were jealous of his popularity with the people.
They apparently found Jesus just as he and his followers were taking a lunch break and the first thing they noticed was that some of Jesus’ disciples didn’t perform the Jewish ritual hand-washing before eating.
Here’s what was actually happening: “Wherever he went—in villages and cities and out on the farms—they laid the sick in the market plazas and streets. The sick begged him to let them at least touch the fringe of his robe, and all who touched it were healed.” (Mark 6:56 NLT)
People were being healed in the streets and the market squares, the gospel was being preached to the poor, the Kingdom of God was at hand, and all the Pharisees noticed was that some of Jesus’ disciples didn’t wash their hands before lunch!
People see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. If I have a critical attitude, I will certainly find something to criticize. If I have a heart for people’s needs, I’ll rejoice when I see them helped, and I’ll find a way to get involved.
If you’re looking for something to criticize today, you’ll find it! If you’re looking for a reason to rejoice at the compassion of Jesus and the goodness of God today, you’ll find it. Your choice. My choice. Let’s choose well!
Father, I want to see your grace at work in the lives of people today. I want to notice what you notice when you look at the people I will interact with today. Let me be like Barnabas who “saw the evidence of the grace of God and was glad.” Please may I look beyond faults and see needs. Please may I speak words of encouragement. Please may I see opportunities to help and serve and support. Amen.