The Scribes and Pharisees were Filled with Madness

And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.(Luke 6:11, KJV)

Jesus often found himself at odds with the scribes and Pharisees, but one incident in particular ignited their fury. Luke poignantly describes this charged atmosphere, noting, “They were filled with madness.” Let’s delve into what provoked these religious leaders and the vital lesson we can learn about the dangers of a hardened heart due to a religious spirit.

Consider this event: In a synagogue, there was a man with a paralyzed and withered right hand. In modern terms, this condition is akin to severe nerve damage resulting in significant muscle weakness and atrophy. On a Sabbath day, Jesus encountered this man. Fully aware of the thoughts of the scribes and Pharisees, Jesus did something astonishing:

“And after looking around at them all, he said to him, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he did so, and his hand was restored.” (Luke 6:10, ESV)

He spoke to the man to stretch his hand, and miraculously, the man’s hand was healed, regaining strength and muscle mass—reminds me of Elohim in Genesis speaking and creating!  While such a divine display might elicit awe and wonder among many, the Pharisees and scribes reacted differently. For them, Jesus had broken the Sabbath law, prioritizing a legalistic interpretation over the miracle of healing.

This narrative serves as a sobering warning for us Christians, especially ministers and Bible scholars. It warns against allowing religious formalism—theology, doctrines, practices— to eclipse God’s heart. 

Meditate

Reflect on the contrasting reactions to Jesus’ miracles: the people often rejoiced at the miracles, while religious leaders often sought to uncover fault, error, mistakes, or sins. What does this reveal about the nature of a hardened heart?

Apply the Word

Have you found yourself dismissing a believer or ministry despite clear evidence of God’s work? In and through them, simply because it didn’t align with your theological perspective? This common pitfall is worth vigilant avoidance.

Pray

Seek the Lord’s guidance to protect against the detrimental effects of a religious spirit, asking for a heart that remains open and receptive to His divine workings.

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