STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND
Mark 3:1-7 (Matthew 12:9-15; Luke 6:6-12)
1. We are going to be looking at Mark 3:1-7. But I want you to imagine in Jesus’ day the editor of the Galilee Gazette running excitedly into the press room shouting, "Stop the Press! Stop the Press!" We have a new headline – it reads:
Jesus Attends Worship Service
Local Man Receives Great Blessing
In Mark 3 we’ll look at what should have made the headlines, had there actually been a Galilee Gazette.
2. Perhaps its not as sensational, and doesn’t make head-lines today either, but Jesus was here at our worship service this morning, and he’s here again tonight. How many today have received great blessings from Him?
a. I want to ask, HOW can you and I get a great blessing?
3. In the pass I have heard some lament, "Well, I didn’t get anything out of the worship."
Question: Did you bring anything to put it in?
a. Old time preachers use to say, "When you go to the spring for water, you’ve got to take a bucket."
b. Did we bring our bucket today?
c. Some come with a sieve – and everything pours right through!
Some come with a bucket with holes – and much leaks out
And some don’t bring no bucket!
4. Open your Bibles to Mark 3:1-7. This will be our procedure:
1) We will look at the background to this section of scripture.
2) We will look at the passage verse by verse –
3) We will look at some lessons to remember from this passage.
5. Background – Jesus’ return from Judean ministry. Religious leaders becoming hostile.
1. Mark 3.1 (Matt. 12:9-15 Luke 6:6-12 )
1. Jesus’ custom -- Lk. 4:16; cf. Mark 1:21; 1:39. (Lk 6:6 Jesus "teaching" on this occasion also.)
2. Unknown synagogue in Galilee.
3. Jesus in the midst of those worshiping God – Matthew 18:20.
4. "Withered" NIV ="shriveled"
Atrophy, 1. A wasting or decrease in size of a bodily organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis. 2. A wasting away, deterioration,
5. Luke says his "right" hand. (6:6)
2. Mark 3.2
1. "They" = Pharisees & scribes (Lk.6:7)
2. "They" were at worship but were "spectators" (watching)
3. "Cure on Sabbath" The Pharisees themselves were divided into two schools of though over how much health care a physician could give on the Sabbath. Many believed that he could give "life-threatening" help to the sick, but no more. He couldn’t treat routine sickness.
a. But the Pharisees were more interested in keeping their traditions than in showing mercy or compassion for the man.
b. Lost their sense of values – if a man has one sheep to fall into pit, would rescue it!
4. "Accuse him" = The Pharisees were hoping to be able to accuse Jesus of being a Sabbath breaker, and worthy of death.
5. Some think man was planted. But probably just here to worship. But they were aware of him.
a. Seems he had no part in their plot. I’m sure he was most grateful for the blessing he received from the Lord.
7. They knew the Lord was compassionate -- use it to entrap him!?
a. Some had come to the synagogue that day to worship God –
b. Apparently some were there as spectators –
c. Some were there, self-righteous, and looking for faults in others, and critical --
d. Some there with injured lives and needing God’s help to make them whole again.
What kind of worshiper have you been today?
3. Mark 3.3
1. "Rise and come forward" "Stand forward" KJV, before them. As if the man himself were on trial whether he had right to be healed or not, whether he is more valuable than a sheep.
2. So the whole congregation could now see him.
3. Seeing the man should have caused them to have compassion on him -- not harden their hearts against him being healed.
a. We need to look with compassion on those needing God’s help.
4. Mark 3.4
1. Jesus deals first with the spectators so if possible to prevent them from being offended.
a. Jesus shows us a good rule to follow here when dealing with people, Prevent offence if possible.
2. Jesus asks a rhetorical question (vs. 4) -- not sure if he even expected an answer.
a. They couldn’t answer. Put them into a dilemma.
3. Jesus considered if one had the power to do good and didn’t, it was evil.
a. The wording here is "good" vs "evil" – we’d say "right" vs. "wrong"
b. On the Lord’s day which is best – to save a life or to kill?
4. "Silent" -- they were learning his power of logic and truth and didn’t want to publicly appear un-compassionate.
5. Mark 3.5
1. Jesus looked around "peri-blepomai" and all-inclusive penetrating look. Eye-to-eye with everyone in the room.
a. This wording is characteristic of Mark. v.34; 5:32; 10:23; 11:11)
b. It seems to be the wording of an eye-witnesses. This an eye-witness account.
c. Possibly Mark himself, probably just a teenager at the time– seems to have witnessed many of these events in the life of our Lord.
1) Many believe the young disciple who followed Jesus and the apostles out in the night to the Mount of Olives was Mark himself – Mark 14:51-52.
2. Luke (6:8) adds that Jesus knew what they were thinking.
a. cf. John 2:25. Jesus knew the hearts of all those who had come to the worship service.
b. Don’t you know he still does today!
3. Jesus’ anger.
a. Aorist tense - carries the sense of momentary anger.
b. Grieve is present tense, sense of continuing grief.
c. As he saw what they were thinking in their hearts as they pretended to be worshiping God – and shortly we will see what was in their thoughts and why he was angry.
d. His anger was accompanied with grief, for he knew their sin, and the awfrul consequences which it would bring upon them.
4. He was angry because they were not compassionate over the man’s condition.
5. Angry at their malice and wicked hearts.
6. His anger was controlled, and didn’t lead him to sin.
7. Jesus commanded the man to "stretch forth his hand." The man promptly obeyed. He had come to center state and now stretches out his hand.
a. Jesus only asked man to "stretch out his hand" and didn’t appear to "do" anything. The man "did" the action. Jesus didn’t apply medicine, or even wave his hand, etc. so they couldn’t accuse his of "working" after all! They were caught!
b. His hand "restored" (NIV adds "completely restored") As whole as the other.
c. Their attempt to catch Jesus "working" on the Sabbath was frustrated.
The man himself had done all the action. Jesus only spoke. What could they accuse him of doing.
6. Mark 3.6
1. The Pharisees then Went out from the service.
a. Can’t you imagine their "huff."
2. They Counseled with the Herodians -- a political party they usually despised and wouldn’t associate with.
a. NOW we are going to see their heart – as Jesus had already seen it in the synagogue.
b. So they are hypocritical, now associating with those they usually condemned as evil and wicked, for the purpose of destroying a righteous man!
3. Plotting to put Jesus to death. "To kill" cf. verse 4. Remember Jesus’ works!
a. Plotting on the Sabbath to do "evil", to "kill." Jesus knew their hearts (Luke 6:8 )
b. This laid bare the hypocrisy of the Pharisees who objected to Jesus’ healing the crippled man on the Sabbath, but they were themselves spending the day in plots to kill Jesus.
4. Must choose to do good and be helpful to others, or to do evil and plot murder.
5. "Plotting" -- the first of four such references in Mark 11:18; Mark 12:12; Mark 14:1.
6. Pharisees were influential. They thought of themselves as being so righteous and holy. But when it suited their purpose counseled with others for evil purposes (cf. 15:1)
7. Mark 3.7
1. It is interesting to note in verse 7 that while his enemies plotted Jesus withdrew. He wasn’t ready to cause a confrontation.
a. Sometimes it is better to wait and not cause a disturbance.
b. Jesus withdrew rather than create a confrontation. His hour was not yet come.
Many were following him. If he was a rebel he could have turned the country-side upside down. But that was not his purpose at all.
LESSONS from Mark 3:1-7
1. Remember there are definite advantages of going to worship where Jesus is.
a. Jesus is present (he attended regularly) and his presence brings a blessings.
b. His presence was a blessing to every devout worshiper in the assembly.
c. Just as he healed this obedience man, when we come humbly in "obedience" we can be healed of our spiritual ills.
d. When we miss a service with Jesus, we miss an blessing to our soul. What a loss it would have been to this poor man if he had not been in the synagogue that day!
2. "Doing good" is a characteristic of a Christian.
a. Acts 10:34 describes Jesus as "going about and doing good."
b. Doing "good and not evil" – doing right and not wrong. Many today accuse doing good as being evil. We definitely need to get our "goods" and "evils" lined up right.
c. We see it every where today – there is a bitter antagonism to holiness in unholy hearts!
d. Isaiah 5:20
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! NASB
e. We must not make traditions binding, and we need to surrender those traditions when they conflict with doing good.
f. The attitude of the heart is so important with God – what an inconsistency we see in these "religious" men who were not caring that "grace and mercy" be shown to a crippled man, and who were plotting evil and murder in their heart.
1). Imagine being at a worship service, and being un-compassionate, and having such a heart filled with evil and murder as these Pharisees and scribes had that day!
2) How different is it with out hearts?
3. Jesus commanded the man to "stretch out your hand" to receive a great blessing that day from worship.
a. What if that man had not "stretched out his hand"?
b. To get our greatest blessing we must "open up our heart" to the Lord.
Acts 16:14 - the Lord opened the heart of Lydia when she went out to worship one day.
c. Imagine what we fail to receive in worship when we fail to "open up our heart."!?
d. When, and how can we do that in worship? Singing! Praying!
(1) During LS we have a quite time. Be pouring out our heart in thanksgiving to God for the grace and forgiveness we have in Jesus’s death on the cross.
(2) Need to be pleading for his mercy and continued blessing to our soul, to the church here, to our family, community, etc.
Luke 18:13 – the Publican - beating on his breast and saying, "Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner." – petitioning for forgiveness and blessings.
(3) We need to be "stretching out our hand" for Jesus’ blessing in worship.
XXX When we come to worship we need to stretch out our hand to God and receive gracious and wonderful blessings from Him! He went home blessed because he obeyed the Lord!
-- Windell Gann