Monday: Stand Up! vv1-6
‘Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”’ v3
Jesus knew that the Pharisees were thinking of ways to catch him out but instead of keeping quiet, he called the man with the shrivelled hand to stand up. How must that have felt? He will have known Jesus’ reputation as a healer and so there would have been hope and excitement but there may have been fear too at having been asked to stand up in front of everyone in the synagogue and worry about repercussions from the Pharisees. We all want Jesus to change our lives for the better but are we prepared to stand up and allow him to do it in a way that not only changes us but those around us?
Tuesday: It’s ok to retreat. vv7-12
‘Because of the crowd he told his disciples to have a small boat ready for him, to keep the people from crowding him.’ v9
So many people wanted Jesus to do things for them that he had his disciples prepare a boat for him ready so that he could retreat if the crowds became too much. So often we feel that, as Christians, we have to be full on all the time but unless we allow ourselves time to retreat, we will wear ourselves out and our usefulness to God will be diminished. If Jesus needed this time, how much more do we? Take some time this week to retreat, to just be with God and ask him to replenish you so that you can go out again and make a difference.
Wednesday: You are called. vv13-19
‘He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach.’ v14
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus called twelve people to be with him and go out to tell others about him. Those twelve were just ordinary people; some failures in the world’s eyes but Jesus called them and used them. That calling is now ours. In 2 Cor 5:20, Paul calls us ‘Christ’s Ambassadors’ and in 2 Cor 6:1, he calls us ‘God’s Co-workers’. Don’t ever feel as though you’re not good enough, clever enough or gifted enough to work for Jesus. He has called you and he will give you everything you need!
Thursday: Misunderstood or just mad? vv20-30
‘When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”’ v21
Jesus’ family knew that he was special. Mary had stored all that had happened surrounding his coming in to the world in her heart and will have thought about it and talked about it over the years but here we see them trying to stop him thinking that he was mad. Jesus knows what it feels like to be misunderstood, to have his actions questioned by the people who are supposed to know and love him best. Many of us in the church will have encountered problems at the hands of our families and those who love us who don’t share our faith or whose idea of protecting us means that they try and stop us from fulfilling God’s plan for our lives. Be comforted. You are in good company!
Friday: Who are my mother and brothers? vv31-35
“Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” v35
This can seem like a daunting statement. We all fail. We all choose sometimes to do our own will rather than God’s. Does this mean that we aren’t in Jesus’ family? No! John 6: 40 says that God’s will is ‘that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life’ (The Message). We are adopted into Jesus’ family when we recognise what Jesus did for us, accept that and choose to follow him. Don’t think that you are excluded because of who you are or what you’ve done. It’s all about Jesus; who he is and what he did on the cross. Spend some time today getting your head around this incredible truth!