It’s Just Sad

He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching Him to see if He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And He said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against Him, as to how they might destroy Him. Mark 3:1-6

Jesus (i.e. God) reacts to hard-hearted unbelief with both anger and sorrow. At the cross Jesus asked for mercy for those who “knew not what they were doing.” (Luke 23:34) It’s one thing to strike out against God with no knowledge of who he is, another to scheme to take him down knowing full well who he is. Here they were watching and hoping that he’d heal so that they could pounce on him for a “violation” of the Sabbath.

In a way the Pharisees demonstrated their tacit belief in Jesus by their posture towards him. In their minds, his healing power was a given. After all, who but God could heal someone with a “withered hand.” They just didn’t want their power usurped. This would-be trap angered and grieved Jesus.

In the end he expended no overt energy to show that he had healed the man’s hand. It was simply restored. This story is an example of how we should feel about the ravenous enemies of Christianity and its leader. Jesus is both angry and aggrieved. So we should be.

About Rick Reynolds

You'll find me in the far right hand corner of evangelical Christianity. Been studying the Word for nearly 45 years and counting.
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