Be Kind
Listen to Your Desires

Jesus and the Man with the Withered Hand

1600s whithered hand
Jesus must have been  agitated and grieved here at the same time, because otherwise good people with sound doctrine are adding burdens to people that stand between them and their healing and redemption.
Jesus' heart does not allow him to pass a man with a withered hand and not do all he can to help and restore. He can no less pass an opportunity to make a teaching point in his own indignation - even if it creates hostility against him.
"Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.
And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.”
And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”
But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him."-Mark 3:1-6 (ESV)
There are many lessons here, but one strikes me today. These Pharisees, by all accounts, reformers who sought to bring the faith of Israel back to its authentic roots, had gotten familiar with power and honor and were threatened when something different came along. They had also fallen for the mistaken belief that if everyone just followed the rules as they interpreted them, they would all be "cool" with God.
They were so convinced of their calling to control the Sabbath that God had given to man and made the Son of Man in charge of, that they were willing to align with the money-grabbing, religiously antagonistic, power brokers of the day whose Herodian inclinations were secular, unjust, oppressive, and basically evil.
They had something in common - common economic and political interests that they were willing to justify with religious language.
So great was there lust for order, power, and social/religious favor and equilibrium that they made plans to destroy the voice that would upset their tentative and fragile apple cart of Roman-Jewish coexistence.
Jesus' response was to feel the indignation, grief, and compassion, recognize the risk, and do what he would do anyway.
He was not about to be intimidated.