Tuesday, January 18, 2011


1. Jesus aggressively sets the miracle in motion by calling the man with the withered hand: ‘Rise up.’ With the deformed man by his side, Jesus turns to his potential accusers and raises a point of law. He knew what was going on in the hearts of the Pharisees. They just wanted to corner him with some accusation.

2. Jesus knows that there is no urgency about the man’s condition, but still He wanted to teach a lesson for the Pharisees. He throws a question at them. The Pharisees recognize that he has placed them in an impossible situation. “To delay healing for a day is to deny the Torah’s true intention, which is the glory of God and the benefit of man.”

3. They remained in silence and it hints at Jesus’ superiority in legal debate. Ultimately Jesus’ confrontation with his critics lay in the claim of his ministry and not in a different interpretation of the Sabbath law. Jesus proves to them that it they who are sick with withered hearts and it is they who need the cure.

4. The conflict story comes to a close with the coming together of the Pharisees and the Herodians to form a common plan. The Pharisees (leaders with pretentions to a high level of religious purity) and the Herodians (political leaders who collaborated with a foreign secular power) who are the most unlikely partners from the opposite end of the Jewish leadership join hands to destroy Jesus.

5. The first miracle of Jesus was greeted with amazement, the glorification of God and acclamation: ‘We never saw anything like this!” (2:12). The closing miracle reverses that acclamation and brings the rivals together to work against their common enemy Jesus.

We have often heard some people saying, ‘Well, everything was good and nice in the beginning but slowly things turn out to be really bad.’ Quite a few times we taste success at the initial stages but in the later stage just the opposite takes place. People whom we thought would constantly support us gradually turn out to be people who ditch our lives. Jesus teaches us to take life easy. We should not be excited too much when we succeed and at the same time we should not get frustrated when we fail. We should learn to put our total trust in the Lord who will gradually reveal his plans to us and He will give us the strength to face both success and failures with a certain level of serenity.

The Gospel of Mark - Moloney

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