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Hard Hearts Grieve the Lord (Mark 3:1-5)

Introductory Thoughts

Today's passage tells the story of Jesus entering the synagogue. He immediately noticed a man with a withered hand. This man's physical infirmity moved Christ to compassion. Unfortunately, the religious leaders were simply calloused toward the man's predicament. The Pharisees watched Jesus closely, not because they were pleased with His gracious act, but because they sought opportunity to accuse the Lord for breaking their man-made rules. As the Lord observed the crowd, the Pharisees’ hardened hearts grieved the Lord to the point of anger. Of course, the Lord knew their thoughts and first sought to reason with them. He did the very thing which the Pharisees hoped He would. The hearts of the religious leaders that should have been tender and welcoming to God's miracles were instead full of pride and completely calloused. Christ's acts of compassion served to further harden their deceitful hearts rather than softening them.

Devotional Thoughts

  • (For children): God's Spirit comes to live inside of those who accept Christ as Saviour. Ephesians 4:30 tells us not to grieve the Holy Spirit of God. We grieve the Spirit when we do things that the Lord does not want us to do.
  • (For everyone):  Do you find joy when God's Spirit works through you to do His will? Do you rejoice when God does something wonderful in the lives of those around you, or are you constantly finding fault in others?
  • Look up the definition of the word grieve. Why do hardened hearts grieve the Lord? Why was He so angry when the Pharisees sought to accuse Him?

Prayer Thoughts

  • Ask the Lord to help you rejoice in His work.
  • Ask God to keep you from the sin of a hardened heart.


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