Withered and Restored

Mark 3:1-6 ESV – 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.

Jesus is back in the synagogue, and the Pharisees are waiting for him to – get this – accuse Him for healing.  Jesus is healing a lame man, and the Pharisees want to accuse Him of being a law breaker because He heals.  
Jesus asks them an important question: is it lawful to do good or to do harm?  What’s interesting here is the implication in Jesus’ question.  He’s already had the man with the withered hand come over near Him.  Jesus is implying that if nothing is done to help this man, then something *is* being done to harm him.  The Pharisees understood this.  Jesus showed them that their inaction was actually a harmful action.  When they understood, they kept quiet.
Then Jesus blows them away.  Yes, He heals this man, but He does it with a word.  “Stretch out your hand.”  Many times, this is how Jesus healed – by speaking.  There was no law against speaking on the Sabbath.  There was no law against stretching out one’s hand on the Sabbath.  Jesus spoke, and the man was healed.  The Pharisees were so put out, they tried to figure out a way to kill Jesus.  They wanted less healing and more control.
The good news for us today is that when and wherever we are withered, Jesus speaks to us, “Stretch out your hand.  Be healed.”  We are all withered to begin with.  He restores us.  Listen to His voice today, no matter what other people are saying.
Posted in Wednesday Word