Out of Focus
by Matt Smith
I remember having a conversation a long time ago with a building contractor and we were talking about another builder with whom we both were familiar with. He made the comment that “Jeff trips over a dollar to save a quarter.” For some reason, that line has stuck with me many years later and I’ve actually used it a few times myself. I’m not sure how many readers may have heard that phrase before, but the meaning has many applications. It refers to people who are focused in on one particular issue or cost that they miss the big picture of what is going on.
In our Scripture reading today, we read about a group of people who had their mindset way out of proper spiritual focus. In Mark 3 we read about Jesus entering the synagogue and encountering a man who had a withered hand. At the same time we see a group of Pharisees who were watching to see what Jesus would do. Their focus was not on the supernatural act of Christ potentially healing someone, but instead on whether or not he would break their rule of literally doing no work on the Sabbath. They had taken God’s law of having a day of rest to the extreme, even to the point of missing the fact that Jesus was actually performing a miracle right in front of their eyes. Instead of standing in awe of God’s power, they were focused in on the audacity of Jesus daring to break their rules. Wow, how out of focus were they?
That said, I’m sure we can at times be guilty of falling into this same trap as well. Instead of seeing the big picture of what God might be doing, we sometimes have a tendency to get hung up on little issues. Maybe it’s something a pastor or a Sunday School teacher might say that we disagree with. I’m not talking about a major doctrine, but instead a minor issue that sometimes people have a real hard time looking past and getting over. Or maybe a decision is made in the church that we might not see eye-to-eye on. Or maybe even an overly critical spirit towards another ministry that might not do things the way we do but does preach a clear gospel message. May we not be guilty of having our focus so locked in on little details that we miss the big picture of what God is doing.