Plotting Murder (on the Sabbath)

The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.” (Mark 3:6, ESV)

Jesus has just healed a man with a withered hand [without actually doing any work, we might add, he spoke and the man was healed].  The Pharisees do not approve, mainly because a. they hated him; and b. he did it on the Sabbath and their rules said that healing “work” could only be done on the Sabbath if one’s life was in danger, and a man who had a withered hand could surely wait another day to be healed!

Jesus heals the man.

Then look at the reaction of the Pharisees.  They go out and immediately plan how they can destroy him.  This was still the Sabbath!  Here is an amazing thing, one cannot do any work on the Sabbath, but it is absolutely acceptable to plot the destruction of another human being on the Sabbath.

The Zondervan NIV Study Bible comments:

Whereas the Sabbath testified to God’s desire for his people’s good, the Pharisees’ distorted holiness leads them to do evil, hypocritically plotting with implicit idolaters to kill Jesus. Rejecting the Lord they claim to seek (see note on 1:2-3) leads to serious consequences (Mal 4:6). God had promised that his return would distinguish between his servants and the rebels (Isa 65-66; cf. Ezek 20:33-38; see note on 11:17). This is now happening in Jesus.

The Pharisees are being exposed, not as worshipers of God, but as rebels who are opposed to God.

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