Mark 3:1-6 – The Man With the Withered Hand

Christian MölkMark Leave a Comment

Mark 3:4

  1. Jesus asks an ironic question.
    1. Jesus heals the sick on the Sabbath.
    1. The Pharisees plan to murder Jesus on the Sabbath.
  2. The Pharisees believed that Jesus could perform miracles, but they still didn’t want to believe in him.
  3. The question was not whether it was wrong for Jesus to heal the man, but whether he was allowed to do so on the “Sabbath”.
    1. The Sabbath is a day of rest when you are not supposed to work.
      1. When God had created the earth in six days, He rested on the seventh (Genesis 2:1-3).
      1. The Sabbath is the day that God wants man to keep holy and to rest from work (Exodus 20:8-11).
  4. The Pharisees took pains not to break any rules or commandments given by God in the Torah (the five books of Moses). In order not to accidentally break God’s commandments, they had written a number of additional rules and statutes that would minimize the risks of breaking the Torah. It was over these rules that Jesus and the Pharisees often quarreled (Mat 7:1-13).
    1. According to these rules, it was permissible to save lives on the Sabbath, but not to medicate those who were not in urgent need.
    1. Jesus breaks the Pharisees’ rules because the man is not in urgent need of rescue.
  5. Even if the Pentateuch prohibited something, there were sometimes exceptions. It was important to keep the Sabbath commandment, but if another, more important commandment happened to appear on the Sabbath, it was more important to keep that commandment. Some examples of this:
    1. Priests were allowed to work even if a feast fell on the Sabbath day.
    1. A boy was circumcised on the Sabbath even though it was a work (John 7:22-23).
    1. Why, then, shouldn’t Jesus be healed of a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath?
  6. Jesus’ main argument in this matter is: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. “(Mark 2:27).
  7. The bottom line is that it is good to keep the Sabbath by abstaining from work and dedicating the day of rest to God. But if something comes up that is more important than personal rest, one should break it and do what is more important instead. So here we have to think for ourselves and use our common sense to decide what to do in different situations.
    1. “Consider for yourselves whether it is right before God to obey you more than him.” (Acts 4:19b).

Mark 3:5

  1. The Pharisees were not in the synagogue to worship God or to help the sick, they were there to frame Jesus.
  2. Jesus not only shows by his argumentation that he has God on his side, he also demonstrates it by performing a miracle that only God can do.
    1. When the Pharisees couldn’t argue or even answer Jesus, they indirectly show that Jesus is right, but they still don’t want to go along with what Jesus did and want to kill him instead.
  3. It’s not uncommon for Jesus to tell the sick to do something they can’t really do.
    1. A person’s faith + Jesus = the power of God.
    1. It was when the man, at Jesus’ urging, did what he could not do that he was healed.

Mark 3:6

  1. Jesus disagreed with the Pharisees about their extra rules and regulations.
    1. Even today, it is a topical question whether it is more important to obey God than to obey one’s own traditions. It is important that there is an ongoing conversation about how to obey the Bible in the time and culture in which one happens to find oneself. God’s word is eternal, but the world is changing; how do we apply God’s word to the world we ourselves live in?
  2. The Herodians were followers of Herod.
    1. Herod Antipas ruled over Galilee and Perea and founded the city of Tiberias.
      1. This Herod was the son of Herod the Great who murdered the boys in Bethlehem (Matthew 2:16).
    1. The Pharisees and the Herodians had little in common, but one thing they could apparently agree on: to “put Jesus out of the way”.
Share & Print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *