Then he returned from the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had a speech impediment, and they begged him to lay his hand on him. And taking him aside from the crowd privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and after spitting touched his tongue. And looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Mark 7:31–34 ESV
And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Mark 4:38-41 ESV
As our church is going through the Book of Jonah, I remembered a similar event that happened in the Book of Jonah, there was a big storm as well and the ship was almost drowned. But then none of the men can do anything even Jonah. Only God was able to calm the storm in the end as Jonah was thrown into the sea as he was running away from God. When this event happened to Jesus and the disciples, we can see that Jesus had God’s authority over the water, sea and wind for He is God Himself!
The response from the disciples and the mariners were similar as well, they were filled with great fear! For the wind and the sea obeyed Jesus!
And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that
“‘they may indeed see but not perceive,
and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.’”
And he said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables?
Mark 4:10-13 ESV
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder);
Gospel of Mark 3:13-17 ESV
Jesus calls 12 followers of him to be his disciples (or also called apostles). Their task is to be with Jesus and to be sent out to preach and cast out demons. On top of that their number twelve is also similar with the number of the twelve tribes that represented God’s people in the Old testament.
Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
In contrast of the Pharisees wanting to kill Jesus, there are a great crowd who’s following Jesus. However most of them are just following Jesus just to be healed.
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
ESV Mark 3:5-6
Frustrated by their hearts and attitude, for they prefer to insist to hold on tradition and being legalistic rather than letting someone getting healed. For the Pharisees, it’s better to not do good on Sabbath day rather than doing something good on Sabbath. Jesus then healed the man with the withered hand regardless.
The Pharisees reaction? They quickly departed and held counsel with Herod’s people to eliminate Jesus. Do you notice the irony? The Pharisees forbid Jesus to do good on the Sabbath, but they’re actually doing evil thing on Sabbath day instead by planning how to kill Jesus. Truly what Jesus asked was true “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?”
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “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: 1-4 ESV
The Pharisees seem to be big fan of Jesus :p
They keep following Jesus everywhere and observing what Jesus do very very closely. Unfortunately they’re doing that too find mistakes in what Jesus do so that they can accuse Jesus. And this time they’re trying to find whether Jesus will heal the man with the withered hand or not. For the pharisees, healing is doing work, and doing work on Sabbath day is unlawful for them. However not to heal someone just because it’s Sabbath day, is an act of legalism, which means following the law or tradition just because it’s the law, and can you still call that doing good? That’s why Jesus asked them whether it’s better to do good or to do harm on Sabbath day? To save life or to kill on Sabbath day?
The Pharisees were silent.