There was a man there who had a withered hand.


Gospel MK 3:1-6

Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.

I read this particular passage of the Gospel describing another in a series of Jesus healing’s, I wonder what set this healing apart from the others, what makes it unique? Certainly this is not just about a medical cure.In  the scene described there is a confrontation between Jesus and those Pharisees who have him under  scrutiny. The situation seems to be one of tension, with the Pharisees ready to confront Jesus about another transgression of the law.It is in this tense confrontation that Jesus  grieves at the hardness of their heart and tells his patient to “stretch out you hand.” In reading this, I wonder; could it be that the source of this mans affliction is the circumstances he is surrounded by? Could the withered hand be a result of the anger that surrounds him?Might the withered hand be a fist that is clenched in that anger? In pondering the Pharisees approach to Mosaic law;part was part of their enforcement of law governed by their emotions towards the collapse of their kingdom, was their enforcement of their law and culture a response to their perception of a failed state(an occupied state)? Was the clenched fist symbolic of a loss in faith, or perhaps disobedience? Was it an angry attempt to reinforce a kingdom of man in defiance of the kingdom of God? Might that anger be the hardness of heart that Jesus grieved over? If that is so, might the cure have been a removal of that anger and a relaxing of their fists? The man stretched out his hand and was cured, sadly the Pharisees could not let go of their anger. Their fists were still clenched.

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