Mark 3:1-5

Mark 3:1 (KJB)
And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.

These events did not happen on the same Sabbath day. Mark is going on to the next Sabbath day. (Luke 6:6 KJV) And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. The manís hand was not withered from birth but maybe because of an accident or some disease. The word in the Greek for ďwitheredĒ is in the passive which means some type of event had happened in the past to him.

Mark 3:2 (KJB)
And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.

The previous week, the Pharisees were defeated in their attempt to accuse Jesus and His disciples of breaking the Sabbath. So now they had in place another set up to see what Jesus would do on the Sabbath. They knew that He would have compassion on someone with a serious medical condition and this manís condition meant nothing to the Pharisees. They wanted to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath day. If He did, then they would also have enough witnesses to bring Him before the Sanhedrin and accuse Him of violating the Sabbath. They realized that if a personís condition was so that his life was in peril, then medical help would be allowed on the Sabbath but this manís condition was not life threatening, so it was basically a set up. The other question that needs to be asked is on any other day, would they have allowed this man to be inside the temple with such a condition? I would venture to say that they would not allow him in but would make him stay in a different area and probably out of sight if possible.

Mark 3:3 (KJB)
And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.

Forth - Midst

Jesus then tells the man with the withered hand that he should arise and He actually stood the man in the midst of the congregation so there would be no doubt that He was going to perform a miracle of compassion in the sight of everyone. Jesus did everything openly as He would state in His appearance before the High Priest prior to His crucifixion and in the Garden of Gethsemane at His arrest.

Mark 3:4 (KJB)
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.

Jesus then presents one of His unanswerable questions to the Pharisees. While He was standing there with the man ready to heal, He then asks the question as to whether it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath days? Or is it lawful to do evil on the Sabbath day? This question would have caught them in moment of hypocrisy because they would never agree with the idea of doing evil on the Sabbath day but if they gave approval to doing good on the Sabbath day, then in their mind, would they be advocating doing work on the Sabbath, even if it was good works? Then Jesus asks two other questions. Is it lawful to save a life on the Sabbath or take a life on the Sabbath? Suppose Israel was at war and they were attacked on the Sabbath? Would they be allowed to defend themselves on the day to save the lives of their people while taking the lives of the enemy who is attacking? It was to their benefit to keep quiet and not answer those questions. (Prov 17:28 KJV) Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding. It was wise for them to follow the wisdom of Proverbs.

Mark 3:5 (KJB)
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

Jesus did not concern Himself with their hypocrisy and evil intents. He saw a man in need and He met that need whether they liked it or not. He then commanded the man to stretch forth his hand and his hand was restored just like the other. Jesus had spoken to the Pharisees that doing good on the Sabbath was lawful and here Jesus puts those words into practice right in front of them. This is a also a principle for Christian living that we should never fear false religions. If we know of a need that has to be met, we must never concern ourselves with the legalism and false tenets of false religion but we must obey God. (Acts 5:29 KJV) Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

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