Friday, October 22, 2010

Hard Heart

In the beginning of Mark 3, after a number of altercations with the Pharisees in chapter 2, Jesus "entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand." (v.1)

"And [the Pharisees] watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him." (v.2)

Jesus asked them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”

No answer. (v.4)

"And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart." (v.5)

Hardness of heart. What exactly is meant by this phrase used all over the Bible, in both the Old and New Testament? What is the nature of this thing that so angered and grieved Jesus?

Jonathan Edwards helps us to see that "by hardness of heart is meant a heart void of affection. So, to signify the ostrich's being without natural affection to her young, it is said, Job 39:16, "She hardeneth her heart against her young ones, as though they were not her's."" (The Religious Affections, 47)

The Pharisees couldn't care less about the crippled man. Jesus looked around at them, sensing no love or move of affection in them whatsoever. They had no compassion for those around them, their hearts were hard.

God, soften our hearts. Give us the affection that ought to be there—first and foremost for you, and also for others. Give us hearts of compassion for those around us. Let us not be like a cruel mother ostrich, without natural affection for her young.

(Desiring God-  Jeff Lacine )

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