PASSAGE: "Another time He [Jesus] went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Some of them [the Pharisees] were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched Him closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, 'Stand up in front of everyone.'
"Then Jesus asked them, 'Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?' But they remained silent." ~Mark 3:1-4
"In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us." ~Titus 2:7-8 [emphasis mine]
LESSON LEARNED: I don't know about you, but in my lifetime I have been the victim of rumors and distortion. As sad as it is, I'm sure many of us have. There are those who, for whatever reason, look for something to take out of context or even make up about someone they have a grudge against or want to slander.
Jesus went through the same thing during His time on earth. The "religious leaders" of the time were so jealous of Jesus that they "were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus" of . . . well . . . anything. They couldn't stand that He was teaching with authority and clarity and what they, in their piousness, could not. People gravitated to hear Jesus speak the truth of God's love and forgiveness that the Pharisees could not communicate because most of them had not experienced God's love and forgiveness, much less understand it. How could they teach something they hadn't experienced themselves?
But we have. Jesus has walked the walk of the accused. He has taught us, by example, the life to live; how to do good. With Jesus as our Example, we too can silence the critics.
Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><