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Daily Worship


January 16 | Mark 3:1-6





The Point Is...

by Mary Kate Hipp

I love rules. I have always been a rule follower. Once when I was little, after calling my older brother nasty names, my parents warned me that if I kept talking that way, they would wash my mouth out with soap. I, being a rule follower, took this to mean "Wash your mouth out with soap now." So I did just that. My parents did not mean for me to put soap in my mouth in that very instant. My mother was rather confused when I came out of the bathroom coughing and gagging and blowing bubbles. What my parents desired more than for me to literally put soap in my mouth, was for me to figuratively clean my speech. They wanted me to speak lovingly to my brother (and anyone else for that matter).

Sometimes we do a similar thing in our relationship with the Lord. We miss the point of His parables and stories and rules. The Pharisees certainly missed the point. In this passage, Jesus is not entirely abolishing the law. He is challenging us rule-followers to see the bigger picture. Is it more important that we abide by the sabbath than it is to heal the sick? Questions Jesus may ask us in the 21st century: is it more important that we wear nice clothes to church than it is to join in community for worship? Is it more important that the worship sounds a certain way or that we are praising God nonetheless? Is it more important that we "win" the political argument than it is to love others well?

I certainly have been guilty of missing the point of the Gospel on more than one occasion. As much as I want to read this passage and laugh at how wrong the Pharisees are, I see a scary resemblance of the Pharisees in my life. Good news, friends: just as Jesus healed the shriveled hand, He heals our shriveled hearts. We all need healing. Some need physical healing, and all need spiritual healing (Romans 3:23). He cleanses us from our sins, our shortcomings, and anything that separates us from Him...except I have a suspicion that when Jesus says He cleanses us, He doesn't mean by putting soap in our mouths...


God, I am sorry for how I have tried to put you in a box or play "God" to appease my rule-following tendencies. I struggle to love my neighbor on my own. I need you, God.

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Good morning, Mary Kate. One of my character flaws is I don't usually follow the rules to the letter of the law. I always go 5 miles over the limit( my car just won't follow the speed limits-lol), I go to extremes in many areas of my life most of which are not within the river banks of healthy living, and another rule of Jesus is "do not judge or---" yet today I sat in judgment of the Pharisees as a hard hearted bunch whose calloused hearts could care less about the poor man with the shriveled hand than following their interpretation of Sabbath rules. My wife is definitely a rule follower and my personal watch dog. She keep…




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