What Jesus Did! 'Critical Eyes' — Mark 2:23-24

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

On the Sabbath day, Jesus was walking through some grain fields. Jesus' followers were walking with him. The followers picked some grain {to eat}. The Pharisees saw this and said to Jesus, "Why are your followers doing that? It is against the {Jewish} law to do that on the Sabbath day."
— Mark 2:23-24
Illustration of Mark 2:23-24 — "Why are your followers doing that? It is against the {Jewish} law to do that on the Sabbath day."

Key Thought

There are some who watch others who are committed to Christ only trying to find fault in them. Critical sniping at Jesus' followers—"nit-picky-ness" as I call it—is not a virtue. Jesus condemns judging others' hearts on the basis of traditions and from a harsh spirit, looking to catch them in minor points of law. The way we judge others is then the standard of judgment used on us by God. As Christians, we have been liberated from law-keeping; let's also liberate ourselves from a harsh, judgmental, and nit-picky spirit. May the spirit that made some of the Pharisees so harsh not be found among us!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, forgive me and help me leave behind a critical, harsh spirit of judgment. Teach me to be gracious and never let my faith get lost in Pharisaism. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The followers of John and the Pharisees were fasting. Some people came to Jesus and said, "John's followers fast, and the followers of the Pharisees fast. But your followers don't fast. Why?" Jesus answered, "{When there is a wedding,} the friends of the bridegroom are not sad while he is with them. They cannot fast (be sad) while the bridegroom is still there. But the time will come when the bridegroom will leave them. The friends are sad when the bridegroom leaves. Then they will fast. "When a person sews a patch over a hole on an old coat, that person never uses a piece of cloth that is not yet shrunk. If he does, the patch will {shrink and} pull away from the coat. Then the hole will be worse. Also, people never pour new wine into old wine bags. Why? Because the new wine will break the bags, and the wine will be ruined with the wine bags. People always put new wine into new wine bags." On the Sabbath day, Jesus was walking through some grain fields. Jesus' followers were walking with him. The followers picked some grain {to eat}. The Pharisees saw this and said to Jesus, "Why are your followers doing that? It is against the {Jewish} law to do that on the Sabbath day." Jesus answered, "You have read what David did when he and the people with him were hungry and needed food. It was during the time of Abiathar the high priest. David went into God's house and ate the bread that was offered to God. And the law {of Moses} says that only priests can eat that bread. David also gave some of the bread to those people with him." Then Jesus said to the Pharisees, "The Sabbath day was made to help people. People were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day. So the Son of Man is Lord (master) of every day, even the Sabbath."

Mark 2:18-28

Related Scripture Readings

"Don't judge other people, and God will not judge you. If you judge other people, you will be judged in the same way you judge them. And the way you give to other people will be the way God gives to you. "Why do you notice the small piece of dust that is in your brother's eye, but you don't notice the big piece of wood that is in your own eye? Why do you say to your brother, 'Let me take that little piece of dust out of your eye'? Look at yourself first! You still have that big piece of wood in your own eye. You are a hypocrite. First, take the wood out of your own eye. Then you will see clearly to take the dust out of your brother's eye.

Matthew 7:1-5

You will be judged by the law that makes people free. You should remember this in everything you say and do. Yes, you must show mercy to other people. If you do not show mercy, then God will not show mercy to you when he judges you. But the person who shows mercy can stand without fear when he is judged.

James 2:12-13

We have freedom now. Christ made us free. So stand strong. Don't change and go back into the slavery {of law}.

Galatians 5:1

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.