Thought for today in CoViD times: He looked round about (Peter Banyard)

The single word translated ‘look round about’ is used sparingly, mainly in Mark’s Gospel record, and with but one exception refers to the Lord’s piercing scrutiny of people or situations.

In the synagogue was a man with a withered hand, probably planted by the Pharisees as a trap. When questioned by Jesus on whether doing good or evil was lawful on the sabbath, there was silence.

“And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts …” (Mark 3:5).

Jesus could read their hearts, and was displeased with what he saw.

On Jesus’ way to Jairus’ daughter, a woman impoverished by her illness sought relief by touching his garment:

“And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing” (Mark 5:32).

Jesus would know who had touched him, but required the woman to come forward and declare before the crowd how she had been healed. The woman had demonstrated her faith, and Jesus wished it to be known as the way to be made whole, not just physically but especially spiritually.

Only Mark records of the rich young man that Jesus loved him (Mark 10:21). We are not told whether he eventually heeded Jesus’ words and became a disciple.

“And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions. And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:22,23)

A warning to us, too!

When the Lord Jesus Christ inspects us will he express anger or approval? Will he recognise faith or see a need for cleansing? Will he perceive a trust in possessions or a willingness to surrender all for him?

Our lives will provide the answer.

How we look forward to meeting again with our brothers and sisters. Many ecclesias report high attendance at their online meetings, and the option of joining with ecclesias in different parts of the world is a great blessing. But sharing emblems together in the same hall in the true spirit of fellowship will be a joyous occasion when it comes.

Please continue to pray for all our brothers and sisters troubled and affected at this time.

Sincerely your brother

Andrew Bramhill

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