A Heart for the Hurting (Mark 3:5) - Radical
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A Heart for the Hurting (Mark 3:5)

“And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.”
– Mark 3:5

Oh, there’s so much here in this short story at the beginning of Mark 3.

Mark 3:5 Narrates how Jesus healed a man during the Sabbath

“As Jesus enters a synagogue and a man is there with a withered hand, and religious leaders are watching Jesus to see if he will heal this man’s hand on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him.” So Jesus says, “This man with a withered hand come over here.” And Jesus looks at the leaders and says, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?’ And they were completely quiet.”

And that’s when we read this verse, verse five. “He looked around at them with anger grieved at their hardness of heart.” Think about what hardness of heart is here in this story. It’s a combination really of many things. But if we were to summarize it, some of them may not believe Jesus is able to heal this man, but it seems like they do and they’re kind of waiting for him to do it.

And in that sense, they don’t believe Jesus should heal this man. In other words, they don’t want Jesus healing people on the Sabbath. And I just want to encourage us today to think about our hearts. What do we believe Jesus has power to do? And what do we want Jesus to do? What are we longing for Jesus to do in people’s lives in people who are hurting, in people who are in need of healing?

Mark 3:5 Reminds us we Should long for Tender Hearts

So God, we pray that you would give us soft hearts today, soft hearts that believe You have all power in all the universe and You are able to heal.
You are able to restore. You are able to help and any and every way others need. So we pray for soft hearts that believe in your power and the desire to see your power shown on behalf of people in need around us. God, we know that all throughout today, tomorrow, we will be surrounded by people who were hurting in different ways, some in ways that are obvious and some in ways that are not obvious at all.

God, we pray for your compassion, for people and for hearts. That desire to see your compassion known in people’s lives in such a way that we are praying for them with faith. And we are looking for opportunities to be your hands and feet, to be a picture of your love and your provision in people’s lives. God, we pray this today on behalf of people who are hurting right around us and far from us.

Praying for the Sadgope Yadav People

God, we pray for the Sadgope Yadav people of Bangladesh, over a hundred thousand of them, no known followers of Jesus among them. Jesus, you alone have power to save them and we long for it. We want your salvation known among the Sadgope people, among the Sadgope Yadav people of Bangladesh. Please hear our prayers right now for them. Cause your grace, love in the gospel to be made known among them. Please send laborers to spread the gospel to them. God, we pray that you would help. God, we pray that we would have soft hearts today that believe in your power and reflect your love and your compassion and your longing to see your power made known in people’s lives. Specifically people who are hurting around us. In Jesus’ name, we pray according to Mark 3:5. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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