by Tyler Gipe

Choose Life

“And He said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Step forward.’ Then He said to them, ‘Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?’ But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.” Mark 3:3-5

The profound thing Jesus reveals through His miracle on the Sabbath is that there are two ways to obey God’s word. One leads to death and the other to life. One simply listens to the surface-level meaning of God’s word, the other listens to the heart behind it.

The Compromising Church

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write, “These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword.” Revelation 2:12

Wow, what an intimidating greeting. Why did Jesus introduce Himself to the church in Pergamos as “He who has the sharp two-edged sword”? The sin that the church in Pergamos struggled with most was the sin of compromise. Although Jesus commended them for holding fast to His name and not denying the faith, He was greatly displeased they had allowed the unhealthy practices of the culture around them to seep into their church. 


“It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove (Mark 1:9-10).”

In the beginning, before the creation of the heavens and the earth, the Spirit is described as hovering over the face of the waters. Similarly, at Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit is described as descending like a dove. This reveals to us that just as the Spirit hovered over the waters before the original creation, the Spirit also hovered over Jesus because He was going to do a new creation.