This week we focus on another miracle in a synagogue. This one is different, as it involves several complex themes such as Sabbath, purity, and a conspiracy to murder.
Monday—Read: Mark 3:1-6 Think: Why do you think they watched Jesus so closely? Could it have been he’d already developed a reputation for being a nonconformist? Pray: Ask the Lord to open your eyes to the people who are watching what you do.
Tuesday—Read: Matthew 12:9-14 Think: As we might expect, Matthew tells the same story slightly different. What does he emphasize? How do you appropriate the added language about sheep? Pray: For sheep whom you know to be in trouble, and for wisdom to know how to help.
Wednesday—Read: Luke 6:6-11 Think: Luke follows more closely in his parallel, but he still has a different feel. In Mark, Jesus is angry before the healing at their hard heart. In Luke, Jesus is not angry instead the anger is put on others? Who and why? Pray: Seek guidance on being the kind of person who is angry at the things that make Jesus angry, and that you would never be angry at the things Jesus’ enemies are angry about.
Thursday—Read: Mark 2:23-28 Think: In all of the tellings of the miracle of the withered hand, it is preceded by the story of Jesus eating in the grainfield and declaring he is Lord of the Sabbath. Why do you think that is? Pray: Turn the phrase, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” into a prayer for enlightenment about the role of Sabbath and rest in your life.
Friday–Read: John 9:1-41 Think: The John 9 healing is more famous today than the withered hand, but it shares some similarities. How is it a similar story? In what ways is it different? Pray: That on Sunday, our Sabbath, people who are blind will see and those who are withered will stretch out.