Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. Mark 3:5 NABRE
Mark is writing about the early time of Jesus public ministry and He has already come to the attention of the religious leaders as someone who is a challenge to their authority. Jesus enters the synagogue and sees a man with a withered hand. Everyone watches Jesus closely to see if He will heal the man on the Sabbath and in doing so break the law. Rather than secretly heal the man in the back of the synagogue, Jesus knowing their desire to get rid of Him, calls the man to the front and asks a rhetorical question, is it good to do good on the Sabbath. No one will answer Him, they know of course it is good to do good on the Sabbath but they are trying so hard to find a reason to accuse Jesus they cannot even agree on the obvious. Jesus turns to the man with the withered hand and has him straighten it though it is likely a paralyzed hand, which is a severe hardship in a culture where men are dependent on their hands to work. The hand is healed and the religious leaders come together to plan their accusation and have Jesus put to death.
Jesus reveals His compassion and at the same time peers through the interior of those watching seeing their hard hearts. Only God can know the decision of the heart, Mark wants us to make this connection with Jesus. Jesus is angry at their stubborn refusal to be empathic. Deliberate silence to save ourselves or avoid accusation is a lie. The Sabbath is made for humanity so we may join in communion with God, following rules at the expense of compassion does not get us closer to God.
Are you silent when you should defend? Do you always challenge wrongdoing?Deliberate silence to save ourselves or avoid accusation is a lie. The Sabbath is made for humanity so we may join in communion with God, following rules at the expense of compassion does not get us closer to God. Click To Tweet
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