Summary: A study of the Gospel of Mark chapter 3 verses 1 through 6
Mark 3: 1 – 6
All Hands On Deck
And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 3 And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 4 Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 5 And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 6 Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.
Now, as you know there were two other documents in circulation and they were the Gospels of Luke and Matthew. As you know, Matthew was an apostle who was with our Lord Jesus Christ for over three years and was an eye witness to all that our Lord said and did. Luke, on the other hand was a friend and fellow traveler with the apostle Paul. He later came back to Israel and interviewed the eye witnesses to this event.
So, to get a full picture let us take a quick look at both Gospels and see if there is any other information that would bless us.
Matthew 12: 9 – 14, “9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him. 11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him.”
Luke 6: 6 – 11, “6 Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. 8 But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And he arose and stood. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?” 10 And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 11 But they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
It is good to take a look at every version of the same event to get a clearer picture of what happened. Have you noticed any differences or additional information?
Well I noticed that Luke was the only one to mention that the guy’s right hand was withered. Matthew and Mark just said the guy had a withered hand. You might say, ‘So?’
Remember that Luke was a physician. The gospels of Matthew and Mark were written before Luke’s version. As a doctor, he was interested in which hand was withered. Was it the man’s strong hand or the weak hand? We would say today, was it his writing hand or throwing hand?
In the Gospel of Mark, which was in effect Peter’s version of what happened, he notes that after the miracle the Pharisees joined with the Herodians to plot the death of our Precious Lord. There were groups who wanted His death.
And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2 So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him.
The Lord’s home base was the town of Capernaum. It was a beautiful little town situated by the Sea of Galilee. This is where Peter, Andrew, James, and John lived and were fishermen by trade. Today you can visit the ruins and actually sit in the very Synagogue that we are reading about today. In addition, you could take a stone and throw and hit the remains of Peter’s house which is right near this Synagogue.