WWJD With a Suffering Baby Seal? Mark 3:1-6



I went to bed last night thinking about the baby seal freed from its entangling net in San Diego.

Somehow a fish net became wrapped around its neck and news photographers and TV crews were videotaping its slow, agonizing death to the world. No one could save the seal from its misery because it is a violation of Federal Law to disturb seals in this protected area of beach. Yet, the newscasters were proclaiming that some people had come forward saying they secretly freed the seal from its prison during the night and saved its life.

Before switching off my bedside lamp, I decided that I would search the Bible upon awakening to find the passage where Jesus healed a man’s hand on the Sabbath. I wanted to compare Jesus’ actions to criminal regulations preventing compassionate rescue for this baby seal. Would I type in the words “healed hand” in the Bible search, I wonder? Somehow I knew I had to write about Jesus’ character when he defied the prevailing Sabbath laws to make a man’s hand whole again.

Amazingly, the first blog I visited this morning featured the very passage I needed:


       Mark 3: 1-6 NIV, 1. Another time He went into the synagogue and a man with a shriveled hand was there. 2. Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath. 3. Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.”

       4. Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save a life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. 6. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.

Unlike the proclaimed seal rescuers who allegedly performed their humane act of mercy in the cover of night and under the cloak of secrecy, Jesus wanted to make sure that everyone saw what He was about to do: “Stand up in front of everyone, He said.” Perhaps He knew that the healed man would be weeping and shouting out of joy and excitement? Maybe this man was a recognized figure in the community and there would be loud gasps of shock and amazement at this miracle? In any case, Jesus wanted to leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that He represented a God of mercy, compassion, love and justice who can take away suffering, even if it’s against man’s law to do so. What a Savior, what a Redeemer, to love us so much that He deliberately did things to ensure the certainty of His own suffering and crucifixion. Imagine, He had the power to prevent all the events leading up to his torture, and He chose not to… in order to save You and me. I pause and wonder, if I had that kind of power, most certainly, I would choose to save myself, or would I?

Lord. I want to be more like You. I pray for all of us today, I pray for those who are seeking You, I pray for those who don’t know You, and last, I pray for the ones who missionize, disciple and evangelize others to ensure You are found.  Keep them in Your care. I pray for a baby seal, somewhere in San Diego… I wish its rescuers performed their act of mercy in full daylight so I would know for certain it was freed and didn’t suffer. Thank you Lord, with You, I have no doubt.


~ by Andrea T on May 9, 2008.

4 Responses to “WWJD With a Suffering Baby Seal? Mark 3:1-6”

  1. Check out the Nooma Video: Store (http://www.nooma.com/Shopping/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=322) as he also talks about the Mark 3 passage.

  2. How stupid that due to our laws, we have to let an animal die because of our own fallicies (is that how you spell it?). I wish that the people did do it in day light for all to see also. Maybe a little bit of compassion for others (animal or human) would do us some good. THanks for the link! hope to see you around more!

  3. This could be me…but weren’t there federal wildlife officials that could have gone in to help the baby seal? I don’t know.

    Yeah, I so would have violated federal law and helped the seal. How great would it be to stand before a federal judge for “helping to save the life of a baby seal”?

    Good post and good thoughts for us all to ponder. Thank you for your blog.

  4. Amy, if we both were on that beach, there wouldn’t have been a second’s hesitation from either of us! I too wouldn’t mind standing before a judge and saying, “Yup, I violated the law and saved a suffering animal.” god bless you. thank god there are people like us around!

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