And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” 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. 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. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him. (Mark 3:1-6)
The Anger Of Jesus
Jesus got angry. One of the rare images of Jesus is when He was filled with indignation. He was saddened at the hardened hearts of those who should have known He was the Son of God and yet intent on trying to ensnare Him as He performed a miracle were offended because He would dare heal a man on the Sabbath. It was incredulous to know how depraved the heart of a man can be to see an incredible manifestation of divine power and at the same time condemn Him for showing that He was the Son of God.
A man with a dried-up hand was in the synagogue. Had he been placed there to tempt Jesus into healing him on the Sabbath? The gospel writers do not reveal the motives of the man’s attendance but the attitude of the Jewish leaders was clearly evident. They could see an opportunity to charge Jesus with breaking the Law of Moses if He healed the man on the Sabbath. What they did not acknowledge is that Jesus knew their hearts and saw their motives.
Jesus asked them if it was lawful to do good or to do evil on the Sabbath? Was it lawful to save a life or destroy it on the Sabbath? It was universally accepted among the Jews that an act of kindness was acceptable on the Sabbath. The intent of the evil heart would condemn Jesus for removing the affliction of the man whose right hand was a shriveled stump. They had more compassion on a sheep fallen into a hole than a man with physical infirmity.
The heart of Jesus was grieved at the insolence of those who were the keepers of the Law that refused to see the clear evidence of the divinity of His nature. Jesus was angry that men could be so impertinent against the victim and the power of God. He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Telling the man to stretch out his hand, he did so and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
Jesus was angry at the hard hearts of the scribes and Pharisees. After the miracle (that was plainly seen by all), the scribes and Pharisees were filled with rage and plotted with the Herodians how to destroy Jesus. The irony of the picture is a group of men trying to destroy a man who healed the right hand of another. This would happen often as Jesus performed His miracles. Many will be drawn to Him believing Him to be the Son of God. Many more would not believe He was the Son of God although they could never deny His power.
There are none as blind as those who refuse to see the power of God fully revealed to them without any doubt or question. Jesus got angry because of the sad condition of the proud man who refuses to acknowledge what he clearly sees. It is eternally tragic how many reject the teaching of God today for the carnal wisdom of humanity. What else could Jesus do to change the hearts of the scribes and Pharisees than to exhibit His power? Is there any more God can do to reveal His power to man today? There will be no more revelations or manifestations of the power of God through miracles. Abraham told the rich man who cried out in torment, “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.” The gospel is fully revealed. If you do not hear the message of Jesus Christ, there is nothing more God can do.