Today’s Reading: Luke 5:29-6:11 (additional reading: Psalm 66:1-20 & Proverbs 11:24-26)
We live in a society where everybody has a feeling about everything. Folks walk around wearing their feelings on their sleeves. The least little thing and we are offended. And sometimes we catch feelings about stuff that doesn’t even concern us. Don’t get me wrong, there are valid concerns when things are obviously out of pocket, but we get offended by the smallest things!
Stuff that by the end of the day, nobody else even remembers that it happened but you. Somebody didn’t call our name at the banquet, we mad! Somebody wearing the same dress you just brought, you mad! Somebody gets credit for my idea, I’m mad. I mean any and everything can rub us the wrong way.
I believe that at the core of our sensitivity is selfishness! We want what we want, when we want it and we want it given to us the way we want it served. And if something doesn’t go exactly the way that we think it should have gone, we get mad!
It has gotten so bad that not only do we get mad with folks, we have the nerve to get mad with God! Some of us treat God like we treat people.
In today’s reading we see the man with the withered arm. Jesus is teaching and the scribes and the Pharisees are getting mad at Him. So they try and trick him. They are not watching to see the man get healed so that they can rejoice, but they are watching so that they can accuse Jesus of what they thought of as work, on a day that he shouldn’t have been working.
But Jesus knows our hearts and our thoughts but thank God he also knows what we need so he goes on and heals the man, and instead of rejoicing, these folks get mad! And herein lies what I’d like for us to consider. I believe that verse eleven stands before us today to warn us of the dangers of being mad and to help us avoid falling into the madness trap. Verse 11 says “And they were filled with madness.”
To be filled means occupy completely! To be totally influenced. To be engulfed by a matter. And here we see church folk filled with madness! God never intended for us to be filled with anything but him. In the New Testament we see references to being filled with the Holy Spirit, filled with compassion, filled with wisdom, filled with wonder, filled with joy! That’s what God wants for us, to be filled with things that are of him. But these folks were filled with madness. They were mad at Christ, they are mad at the people and they are even mad at themselves.
When you allow yourself to be filled with madness, it controls you. Your life is driven by the madness and nothing good can come from that. Everything you say and do is negative. Don’t allow yourself to be filled with madness. That’s not God’s intention for you.