A withered hand - Mark 3:1

Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Mark 3:1-6:13

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A withered hand - Mark 3:1

The narrative does not tell us any more about the man's situation than that he had a withered hand. The important point is that it does not appear to be an immediate threat to his life. The Pharisees and everyone else would have agreed that a healing to save a life would have been allowed on the Sabbath. There was no such threat to life in this case and thus the Pharisees (3:6) interpreted the healing as a violation of the command to keep the Sabbath holy.

Accuse- Mark 3:2

The Greek word that is translated accuse was often used in legal contexts. The Pharisees watched him closely because they were trying to gather evidence and build a case against him.

Stand - 3:3-4

Jesus did not back down. Instead he took the initiative and made this Sabbath healing a very public issue. He told the man to stand right in the middle where everyone could see him and challenged the entire crowd. The silence of his opponents was striking. Either they could not answer him, or more likely in light of verse 5 they chose not answer him.

Righteous anger - Mark 3:5

This story is also reported in Matt. 12:9-14 and Luke 6:6-11 but only Mark reported that Jesus responded with righteous anger. See the note at 7:34 regarding Jesus' emotional life. The Pharisees had been silent when Jesus asked them a question. They were not there to learn or even to debate. They were willing to allow this man to continue suffering. They were there to gather evidence that would fit the conclusion that their hardened hearts had already reached.

Herodians - Mark 3:6

The Herodians were Jewish supporters of King Herod and his family. They often favored compromises between their Judaism and the Hellenistic influences of their day. This often brought them into conflict with the Pharisees. The Pharisees thought such compromises with foreign influences were sinful. The amazing thing about this verse is that now the Herodians and the Pharisees plot together to get rid of Jesus.

Later Ministry throughout Galilee - Mark 3:7 - 6:13

The Later Ministry throughout Galilee. This section opens with the calling of the twelve and closes with Jesus sending out the twelve to extend his own ministry. In between, Jesus moved into the rest of Galilee. He continued his ministry of preaching and healing. The whole time opposition to him was increasing and people kept trying to figure out who this amazing man really was.

The Call of the Twelve Mark 3:7-19

The crowds surrounded Jesus desiring healing, but left little opportunity for him to preach the gospel of the kingdom. In response Jesus chose the twelve for two reasons: first, so they could be with him so he could mentor them; and secondly, so he could send them out to extend his ministry of preaching and healing.

The crowd - Mark 3:7-10

Jesus had become so well known that people were coming from great distances from all over Palestine to see him. The size of the crowd made it difficult for him to carry out his preaching ministry.

The demons proclaimed - Mark 3:11-12

The demons proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God. See the article on the Titles of Christ. As he had done earlier in 1:34, 43, 44 Jesus forbid anyone from publicizing his true identity. It seems that he feared that such announcements would lead to even greater crowds and even less of a chance to preach the gospel of God.

Apostles - Mark 3:13-15

Apostles were those who were sent in the authority of the sender. Jesus sent the twelve to help him in his ministry of preaching and healing. The mention that the apostles were both to be with Jesus to be trained by him, and were to be sent out to minister on his behalf is a reinforcing of the pattern that was first mentioned in 1:17. The number twelve represented the twelve tribes of Israel. (See Luke 22:29, 30.)

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