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

Sunday, February 9, 2020

One Sabbath day as Jesus was walking through some grainfields, his disciples began breaking off heads of grain to eat. But the Pharisees said to Jesus, "Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?"
— Mark 2:23-24 NLT
Illustration of Mark 2:23-24 NLT — "Look, why are they breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?"

Key Thought

Some people watch others who are committed to Christ only trying to find fault in them. Critical sniping at Jesus' followers — nitpicking, as I call it — is not a virtue. Jesus condemned judging others' hearts on the basis of traditions and from a harsh spirit, looking to catch them in minor points of the law (Matthew 15:1-3). The way we judge others is then the standard of judgment used on us by God (Matthew 7:1-2). As Christians, we have been liberated from law-keeping; let's also liberate ourselves from a harsh, judgmental, and nitpicky spirit. May the legalistic, critical 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 legalistic, critical Pharisaism. In the name of the Lord Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 7:1-5
  • James 2:12-13
  • Galatians 5:1

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.