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Mark in Slow Motion 18

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was 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 conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.

Καὶ εἰσῆλθεν πάλιν εἰς τὴν συναγωγήν καὶ ἦν ἐκεῖ ἄνθρωπος ἐξηραμμένην ἔχων τὴν χεῖρα
καὶ παρετήρουν αὐτὸν εἰ τοῖς σάββασιν θεραπεύσει αὐτόν ἵνακατηγορήσωσιν αὐτοῦ
καὶ λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ τῷ ἐξηραμμένην ἔχοντι τὴν χεῖρα ἐγεῖραι εἰς τὸμέσον
καὶ λέγει αὐτοῖς Ἔξεστιν τοῖς σάββασιν ἀγαθοποιῆσαι, ἢ κακοποιῆσαιψυχὴν σῶσαι ἢ ἀποκτεῖναι οἱ δὲ ἐσιώπων
καὶ περιβλεψάμενος αὐτοὺς μετ᾽ ὀργῆς συλλυπούμενος ἐπὶ τῇ πωρώσειτῆς καρδίας αὐτῶν λέγει τῷ ἀνθρώπῳ Ἔκτεινον τὴν χεῖρα σου καὶἐξέτεινεν καὶ ἀποκατεστάθη ἡ χεὶρ αὐτοῦ ὑγιὴς ὡς ἡ ἄλλη
καὶ ἐξελθόντες οἱ Φαρισαῖοι εὐθὲως μετὰ τῶν Ἡρῳδιανῶν συμβούλιονἐποίουν κατ᾽ αὐτοῦ ὅπως αὐτὸν ἀπολέσωσιν

Mark 3:1-6

Sabbath observance is central to identity. This is the fifth of eleven mentions of “synagogue” in Mark.

ἐξηραμμένην – has had a withered hand for considerable time

Interpretations of the sabbath vary: from not being allowed to talk about work to being allowed to heal on the sabbath.

ἐγεῖραι “be you roused” cf 1:31; 2:9, 11, 12; 5:41; 10:49 – cf resurrection
εἰς τὸμέσον “into the midst”
translated by NRSV: ‘Come forward.’ 

“to save life or to kill?” summarises Jesus’ mission against those who oppose him. The withered hand is not life-threatening!

ὀργῆς συλλυπούμενος – with anger; he was grieved
In Matthew (12) and Luke (6) (re)telling of this story, they omit Jesus’ anger and grief

Hardness of heart – cf Pharaoh in the Exodus story

‘Stretch out your hand’ – NB the issue, precisely, was not being able to stretch out the hand!

“Strengthen the weak hands” Isaiah 35:3

It is unclear who the Herodians are – supporters of Herod Antipas?

Pharisees with the Herodians seek to destroy Jesus – unique to this story.

This is the last of five controversies in Galilee. Jesus could have healed in private; not on the sabbath.

Mark in Slow Motion

This is the eighteenth post in a series – you can begin here:
Mark in Slow Motion 1
Mark in Slow Motion 2
Mark in Slow Motion 3
Mark in Slow Motion 4
Mark in Slow Motion 5
Mark in Slow Motion 6
Mark in Slow Motion 7
Mark in Slow Motion 8
Mark in Slow Motion 9
Mark in Slow Motion 10
Mark in Slow Motion 11
Mark in Slow Motion 12
Mark in Slow Motion 13
Mark in Slow Motion 14
Mark in Slow Motion 15
Mark in Slow Motion 16
Mark in Slow Motion 17

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