Withered Hand

Who has an open heart?

In November, 2005, a Maury County, Tennessee man received two consecutive life sentences for murdering his wife and daughter and the attempted murder of his son. A medical examiner testified the man shot his wife in the top of her head as she begged for her life. His daughter was on her knees when she received her fatal wounds on her mother’s bed.

There are some very mean people in the world. While some verdicts are mistakes, a great many of the guilty verdicts from juries attest to guilt proved beyond a reasonable doubt. The son’s testimony against his mother’s killer proved the man’s guilt conclusively.

When Jesus entered a synagogue on the Sabbath Day in Mark chapter three, he was guilty of no crime. He had not even been charged with one. Yet, there were members of the Sanhedrin there who wanted to charge him.

The Sanhedrin members were not there to worship God. William Barclay wrote, “The last thing they were there to do was to worship and to learn; they were there to scrutinize Jesus’ every action.”[1]

Jesus was taken to task for healing a man’s withered hand on that Sabbath Day. That was the charge the Lord’s enemies hoped would stick. Jesus, however, put the religious leaders on the horns of a dilemma which left them unable to say a word against him.

Jesus said, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill? But they were silent” (Mark 3:4 ESV). These men knew the law of Moses. They knew which acts were lawful and which were not, but they had not counted on the statement Jesus made.

For this miraculous healing, the Pharisees enlisted the help of the Herodians in a plot to kill Jesus (Mark 3:6). They did not praise God for the power Jesus had shown. They did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah and carry him in joy through the streets. For his caring act of healing a man, they wanted to kill him.

Which of these in the synagogue was really interested in the truth? Why, Jesus was, wasn’t he? Who is still interested in learning the truth of God’s word? Is it you?

[1]The Gospel of Mark,” “The New Daily Study Bible” Page 76

 

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John Henson

Born in Nashville, Tennessee, John Henson has been a husband for 40 years and a preacher for about half that. He currently serves as the preacher for the Dibrell Church of Christ in McMinnville, Tennessee..

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