The Man with the withered hand, Mark 3. 1-6

E. L. Lovering, Ilfracombe

Part 2 of 3 of the series Scenes in the Synagogue

Category: Devotional

A Question of Tradition and Contact with Disease. 'And he entered again into the synagogue and there was a man there who had a withered hand, and they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day, that they might accuse him', 3. 1, 2.

The focus of the disturbance was a man with a withered hand. Previously in conflict with demons, Christ is now in contact with disease, and both respond to His authority and power. Tradition records that the man was a plasterer or mason so his 'right hand', Luke 6. 6, would have been an essential loss. The Scribes and Pharisees had come not to worship but to watch in order to accuse the Lord of breaking the sabbath. They failed to recognise the need for love and mercy above that of ritual and tradition.

The Question
'They asked . . . is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?', Matt. 12. 10. As was so often His custom, the Lord posed a counter question by asking whether it was lawful to do good on the sabbath, or evil, to save life or to kill. At this they were silent, 3. 4. It is clear that not to do good is counted as doing evil, so that it is not only lawful to perform an act of mercy on the sabbath but it is unlawful not to do it. The priest and Levite in Luke 10 were condemned for the sin of omission as 'they passed by on the other side'. James writes, 'to him that knoweth to do good and doeth it not, to him it is sin', James 4. 17. The unprofitable servant was cast out because he hid his talent in the earth, not because he had used it wrongly. In the great judgment the condemnation of those on the left-hand of the king is, 'inasmuch as ye did it not', Matt. 25. 45.

The Cure
'He saith to the man . . . stand forth . . . stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out and his hand was restored whole as the other', 3. 3, 5, A public confession of faith was to accompany the miracle of healing and in the performance of the act the miracle took place. Angry at their wickedness and grieved at their callousness the Lord looked round about on the onlookers. Careful of detail, Mark frequently records our Lord's looks. Here is an unusual verb found six times in this gospel and only once elsewhere in the New Testament. See 3. 5; 3. 34; 5. 32; 9. 8; 10. 23; 11. 11; and Luke 6. 10. Whether in love, grief or reproof His look so touched the hearts of the subjects that it could not be forgotten.

Against sin this is a righteous emotion implanted by God in the heart, but like all emotions it has its proper place and purpose. In righteous anger the Lord cleansed the temple, John 2. 15, and Paul wrote, 'Be angry and sin not; let not the sun go down upon your wrath', Eph. 4. 26. This is no excuse for uncontrolled emotion, the latter part of the exhortation being of equal importance to the former.

A Strange Alliance
'The Pharisees went forth and straighway took counsel with the Herodians against him how they might destroy him,' 3. 6. The Herodians were a political rather than a religious party, anti-national, relying upon Rome's protection out of expediency as they awaited national independence. The Lord warned of the leaven of Herod, 8. 15. Politically opposed to the Pharisees they were prepared to join them in their hatred for the Lord, see also 12. 13, 14.

Driven from the synagogue, the Lord withdrew to the sea and preached to the crowd gathered on the shore. Repudiated by official Jewry He is vindicated by the ordinary people. In spiritual matters what is hidden from the wise is revealed to babes. Matt. 11. 25, 26.

There are 6 articles in
ISSUE (1996, Volume 51 Issue 3)

The Greatness of the Gospel (1)

New Testament Prophecies

No More Questions

Obedience, 1 Cor. 11. 1-16

The Man with the withered hand, Mark 3. 1-6

What Results have been Experienced

There are 3 articles in this series

The Unclean Spirit, Mark 1. 21-28

The Man with the withered hand, Mark 3. 1-6

Scenes in the Synagogue (3)

There are 93 articles by this author

The Trials of Persecution and the Wisdom of God

The First Main Division

The Triumph of Redemption and The Work of God

The Teachings of Jehovah and the will of God - Part 1

Revelation of Divine Purpose in Exodus

The Teachings of Jehovah and the will of God - Part 2

Lessons from Leviticus - Introduction and Chapter 1

Lessons from Leviticus - Chapters 6-10

Lessons from Leviticus - Chapters 11-17

Lessons from Leviticus - Chapter 23

Lessons from Leviticus - Chapters 24-25

Notes from Numbers - Chapters 22 - 25

Notes from Numbers - Chapters 26-30

Notes from Numbers - Chapters 31-35

In the Beginning

Trivials or Spirituals?

Patient Perseverance

Restful Resignation

The Flood - Fact or Fiction?

Gifts to the Church - 1 Cor. 12.

Christ and the Bible

Go to Jericho!

Worship: The House Filled (Part 4)

Matter in Miniature

My Beloved

My Beloved ”My Beloved ”

‘My Beloved’ - His Bride (Part 1)

My Beloved

‘My Beloved’ - His Bride (Part 3)



Second Epistle of Peter



The Inspiration of Scripture

Perfect Humanity

Absolute Deity

The Death of Christ

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The Ascension and Exaltation of Christ

The Holy Spirit - His Person

The Holy Spirit - His Work

The Holy Spirit and His Work (2)

Spiritual Blessings - Remission

Spiritual Blessings - Redemption

Spiritual Blessing - Atonement

Spiritual Blessings - Justification

Spiritual Blessings - Sanctification

John’s Gospel Chapter 1

John’s Gospel chapter 1

John’s Gospel Chapter 1

John’s Gospel Chapter 1

John’s Gospel Chapter 2

John’s Gospel Chapter 4

John’s Gospel Chapter 5

John’s Gospel Chapter 6

John’s Gospel Chapter 6

John’s Gospel Chapter 9

John’s Gospel Chapter 11

John’s Gospel Chapter 6

John’s Gospel Chapter 8

John’s Gospel Chapter 10

John’s Gospel Chapter 11

John’s Gospel Chapter 13

John’s Gospel Chapter 15

John’s Gospel Chapter 3

John’s Gospel Chapter 4

John Chapter 8

John Chapter 12

John Chapters 13-16

John Chapters 17-19

John Chapters 20 & 21

The Preparation for a Gospel Message

By Galilee

Walking on the Waves, Mark 6. 45-52

Ritual and Reality

Highlights of the Gighway (1)

Highlights of the Highway (2)

The Unclean Spirit, Mark 1. 21-28

The Man with the withered hand, Mark 3. 1-6

Scenes in the Synagogue (3)

Gathering To His Name - Matt. 18. 20

The Lord’s Table And The Lord’s Supper 1 Cor. 10, 15, 23. 11. 20—34


Heroes in History - Joseph

Heroes in History - Joseph (Continued)

Spiritual Blessings - Reconciliation

On Baptism

On Fellowship

Crises in Creation

Crises in Creation (2)

Heroes In History (1) - Abraham

Heroes In History (2, Isaac & 3, Jacob)