The Priority of Humanity

“In this chapter, Jesus tells us what is truly important. We see the heart of the Servant as he states what his priorities are and what ours should be: people over rules; intimacy over familiarity, God’s family over earthly families.”

Rodney Cooper “Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark” p. 47

Mark Chapter three starts with a story about a man with a deformed hand. More than likely (As Cooper mentions) he was unable to work due to his infirmity. Jesus had the power to heal the man, and didn’t make him wait even a day to be healed.

The Pharisees understood that Jesus had the power to heal also, but wondered if He would heal on the “wrong day.” Regardless of whether this was life-threatening, why make someone suffer longer than they have to if you have the means to help? The problem was that their hearts were wrong.

“Jesus placed a high value on meeting human need. When human need comes in conflict with rules, humanity must take priority. If we do not choose humanity in these cases, we become less human ourselves. ”

Rodney Cooper “Holman New Testament Commentary: Mark” digital copy on Mark 3:6

Then there is the calling of the apostles… much has been written about this, but Cooper points out that two of the disciples would have been on the complete opposite side of the political spectrum — Matthew the tax collector and Simon the zealot. What a great insight!

A tax collector worked for the government, and a zealot would have worked to overthrow the government. One on one side, one on the other… Yet in Christ they were one. Other than disputes over who was the greatest, we don’t read about political disputes between the disciples, either before (when the they thought Jesus was implementing a new earthly kingdom) or after (when Jesus made it clear that Rome wasn’t the power He was looking to overthrow).

Matthew and Simon were not just co-workers in Christ, but they were brothers in Christ. Even though they may have come in with different political beliefs (and may have continued with them after), they didn’t allow those differing political beliefs cause conflict or distract from the unity they had in Jesus — and we shouldn’t either.

In Christ we have a new family.

When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we become a part of His family, and this family is to take precedence. This doesn’t mean that we abandon our old (biological) family, but His kingdom and His family become a higher priority. We are to be about our Father’s business.

Lord, as we seek to be about Your business, help us to make sure that we don’t lose sight of Your love for Your creation in our pursuit of holiness. Help us to realize that we are a part of a much larger family — a multicolored family — and help us to keep differences in opinion from fracturing that body or causing hatred in places where there should be love.

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