Suggested further reading: Mark 3:1-6
These verses begin one of the most deep and solemn passages
in the four Gospels. They show us the Lord Jesus asserting his
own divine nature, his unity with God the Father and the high dignity
of his office. Nowhere does our Lord dwell so fully on these
subjects as in the chapter before us. And nowhere, we must confess, do
we find out so thoroughly the weakness of man's understanding!
There is much, we must all feel, that is far beyond our comprehension
in our Lord's account of himself. Such knowledge, in short, is
too wonderful for us. `It is high: we cannot attain unto it' (Ps.
139:6). How often men say that they want clear explanations of
such doctrines as the Trinity! Yet here we have our Lord handling
the subject of his own person and, behold, we cannot follow him!
We seem only to touch his meaning with the tip of our fingers.
There are some works which it is lawful to do on the
sabbath day. The Jews, as on many other occasions, found fault
because Jesus healed a man who had been ill for thirty-eight years on
the sabbath. They charged our Lord with a breach of the
Our Lord's reply to the Jews is very remarkable. `My
Father', he says, `worketh hitherto, and I also work.' It is as though he
said, `Though my Father rested on the seventh day from his work
of creation, he has never rested for a moment from his
providential government of the world and from his merciful work of
supplying the daily wants of all his creatures. Were he to rest from such
work, the whole frame of nature would stand still. And I also work
works of mercy on the sabbath day. I do not break the fourth
commandment when I heal the sick, any more than my Father breaks it
when he causes the sun to rise and the grass to grow on the sabbath.'
For meditation: Those who are too busy to spend time
worshipping God must not be surprised to find God absent from them.