Mark 3:6

I. CHRIST SOMETIMES ENJOINS WHAT SEEMS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE.

II. FAITH IS SHOWN IN DOING WHAT HE COMMANDS, EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS TO BE IMPOSSIBLE.

III. WHERE THERE IS THE "OBEDIENCE OF FAITH," POWER WILL BE GRANTED. - M.







How they might destroy Him.
I. THE MEANNESS OF HATRED is exhibited in the conduct of the Pharisees.

1. They professed to be peculiarly holy and righteous men. But here, on the Sabbath, in the synagogue, they watched Jesus, only that they might bring an accusation against Him.

2. They charged the Herodians with being traitors to their country. Yet now, in order to accomplish their murderous purpose on Jesus, they are willing to join hands with them.

II. THE EVIL OF HATRED is here seen.

1. Its evil effects upon themselves. They grew more and more bitter towards Jesus, and their hearts and consciences more and more seared.

2. Its evil effects upon society. They ultimately induced the people in a fit of madness to demand the murder of Jesus.

III. THE SINFULNESS OF HATRED.

1. The Bible denounces it as murder (1 John 3:15).

2. It is inconsistent with a state of grace (1 John 3:14; 1 John 4:8).

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

The Pharisees having before harboured malice and hatred in their hearts, now show it by seeking Christ's death. From this we may observe the policy of Satan, tempting and drawing men to the practice of sin by certain steps and degrees — first to lesser sins, and then to greater and more heinous ones. First the heart is drawn away and enticed by some sinful object: then lust conceives, i.e., consent is given to the sin in heart: then this inward consent brings forth actual sin: nor does the sinner stay here, but proceeds to the finishing or perfecting of sin, which is done by custom and continuance in it. This should teach us a point of spiritual wisdom, viz., to resist sin in the first beginnings of it, before we proceed far in it. Withstand the first motions of sin arising in the heart, or suggested by Satan; strive and pray against them at first; and labour at the very first to cast them out of the heart and mind, and not to suffer them to lodge or take possession there. Satan and sin are most easily resisted at first; but if either of them get hold in us, it will be very hard afterwards to dispossess them. Be wise, therefore, to resist and keep them out betimes. The only way to be kept from actual committing of gross sins is to withstand the first motions of those sins. The only way to be kept from the fearful sin of actual murder is, to guard against yielding to unadvised anger, and especially to take care not to harbour malice and rancour in our hearts against such as wrong us. These lower degrees of murder do often make way to the highest degree of that bloody sin; therefore, as thou wouldst be prevented from falling into the latter, beware of giving way to the former. Once give way to the first occasions and beginnings of any sin, and it is a thousand to one but thou wilt proceed further in it; and the further thou goest on in it, the worse and the harder thou wilt find the return by repentance; therefore resist it betimes. We must deal with sin, if we would mortify it in ourselves, as we do with venomous creatures such as adders or snakes; we must kill the young brood. If we could practise but this one point of resisting the first beginnings of sin in ourselves, how profitable would it be. How many dangerous sins might we be kept from by this means. And the not practising of this has been the cause of the fearful falls of many into most grievous sins. If our first parents, and David, Peter, Judas, had resisted the beginnings of those sins into which they fell, they had not fallen into them so dangerously as they did. Let us therefore be warned by their harms, and beware of giving way to the first occasions and beginnings of any sin, lest if we yield to them, the devil bring us by degrees to the highest pitch of that sin.

(G. Petter.)

A generous nature would have hoped for some other result than is here described; that on reflection they would mark the love, the omnipotence, the courage and the tenderness of Christ. Marking these things they might have learned some more excellent way than that bondage of scrupulous forms under which they groaned. But, alas! they only feel their discomfiture — not the Saviour's greatness; the wound given to their pride — not the lesson given to their conscience. All His greatness seems to them a reason only for making their efforts to suppress Him more rigorous. And from the gracious teaching and the wondrous works of the Saviour they gather only harm and hatred. How true it is that "the carnal mind is enmity against God." There is in all of us something which, if not checked, will grow into hatred of our Saviour. Our envy will make us dislike His goodness; our pride, His authority; our evil, the purity of His precepts; while our indolence will make us dislike His very love, because of the obligations under which it lays us.

(R. Glover.)

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