We know from previous biblical books of history that King Ahaz was likely the most wicked king to reign in Judah. God still tried to reach him, He offered Ahaz a sign, but Ahaz faked humility and refused it. So God chose His own sign - the birth of Jesus Christ.
In this dark time, Isaiah's sons' names were significant. Shear-Jashub means "a remnant shall return" which is both a name of judgment (the nation will be destroyed with only a remnant remaining) and mercy (there will be a remnant, and they will return). Maher-Shalel-Hash-Baz meant the Assyrians should "hurry to the spoils" - judgment.
Into this darkness the prophecy of Immanuel came. God with us. Our dark world desperately needs the Light and yet the wicked love the darkness rather than the light because their works are evil (John 3). They don't even realize that they're rejecting their only hope.
Indeed, Isaiah tells us to wait for the Lord, to put our hope in Him.
In Mark we see the Light in action - demonstrating His authority over demons and sickness. We also see Him pointing out the Pharisees legalism, and reminding them that the law required love.
Love God and love our neighbour. It's as simple, and as difficult, as that.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Isaiah 9-10, Mark 3:20-35
When reading about King Ahaz, it looks so obvious from our outside position, that King Ahaz should just quit being stubourn and follow God, who's trying to help him, but he just couldn't help himself from putting his own desires before God's. This is a great reminder for us, in how we should live
I found it interesting how in Mark 3:2 it reads, "Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched Him closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath."
Jesus shows us that as Christians we will always be under the microscope by non believers. Jesus knew that they would be plotting to kill Him, but He knew what was right and what was the required thing to do.
It reminded me to be strong in my faith, so that when put to a test when others are watching, I would be able to make my Heavenly Father proud too!
Interesting that Conrad and I pulled out the same verse! I was thinking about it from a teacher's perspective. Often there are kids that are targeted because they get into trouble. Kids begin to blame these kids for things that happen and because these kids have shown bad behaviour in the past, teachers believe it when others accuse them and can tend to blame them for actions that might have a different reaction if it was a different child doing the bad behaviour. As a more experienced teacher now, I tend to ask "what happened right before?" to shed a different perspective on the situation instead of just siding against the child who is usually in trouble. In this passage we learn that they were watching Jesus closely and knowing he would "screw up" in their minds. They didn't ask "what happened right before" or maybe in this case "why was Jesus purposely violating these rules?" They didn't care about the back story they were just out for blood (quite literally!). As a teacher, my job is to know the whole story and to help shape little people into wonderful citizens. I can't do that if I don't know the whole story. Jesus' accusers were not able to see the good in Jesus' actions because they were too blind from their own ideas of what was appropriate.
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