What Hatred Does to a Soul

“Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him” (Mark 3:6).

The Pharisees were not normally murderers.

They were highly religious, faithful keepers of the flame, staunch defenders of orthodoxy and determined champions of conservatism. If there had been a Tea Party of their day, they were it. They hated modernism, treasured the heroes of their past and wanted to return the nation to the glory days of centuries past.

But their hatred for Jesus trumped their devotion to God.

Hatred is a toxin, which when introduced into the soft, vulnerable and defenseless soul of mankind, wreaks havoc, destroys everything it touches and sends its host spiraling ever downward toward the lowest pit of hell. Hatred corrupts and perverts, sabotages and undermines.

Saddest of all is watching good people fall into its grasp and never come up for air.

In Mark 3, we see the Pharisees—they are not identified as such, but we recognize them!—in Capernaum’s synagogue. A man with a deformed hand has been brought in and seated prominently so Jesus could not miss him. One thing they all agreed upon, the compassionate Lord could not overlook the hurting. Even on a Sabbath day, Jesus would heal the man, and then the Pharisees would have caught Him “in the act.” (What we most love about Jesus, His compassionate heart, they used to bait their trap.)

Scripture says, “He looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts” (3:5).

Hatred will do that to a person.

1) Hatred will turn a nice guy into a spiteful person. Hate and love cannot co-exist. The one who hates anyone becomes consumed by his ill-will.

2) Hatred drives you to do evil things. Ordinarily, these religious leaders would have been horrified at the suggestion they could ever take a life or be responsible for ending one. However, this hatred, which would fester for three years, would eventually reach full strength and become a force to be reckoned with as it empowered the Pharisees to participate in a lynching.

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Joe McKeever
Joe McKeever has been a believer over 60 years, has been preaching the Gospel over 50 years, and has been writing and cartooning for Christian Publications over 40 years. He lives in New Orleans.