|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
3:1-5 This man's case was piteous; he had a withered hand, which disabled him from working for his living; and those that are so, are the most proper objects of charity. Let those be helped that cannot help themselves. But stubborn infidels, when they can say nothing against the truth, yet will not yield. We hear what is said amiss, and see what is done amiss; but Christ looks at the root of bitterness in the heart, the blindness and hardness of that, and is grieved. Let hard-hearted sinners tremble to think of the anger with which he will look upon them shortly, when the day of his wrath comes. The great healing day now is the sabbath, and the healing place the house of prayer; but the healing power is of Christ. The gospel command is like that recorded here: though our hands are withered, yet, if we will not stretch them out, it is our own fault that we are not healed. But if we are healed, Christ, his power and grace, must have all the glory.
Verses 3, 4. - Stand forth. The words in the original are Ἔγειραι εἰς τὸ μέσον Rise into the midst. In St. Matthew's account (Matthew 12:10), the scribes and Pharisees here ask our Lord, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" The two accounts are easily reconciled if we first suppose the scribes and Pharisees to ask this question of our Lord, and then our Lord to answer them by putting their own question to them in another form. Is it lawful on the sabbath day to do good, or to do harm? to save a life, or to kill? Our Lord's meaning appears to be this: "If any one, baying it in his power, omits to do an act of mercy on the sabbath day-for one grievously afflicted, as this man is, if he is able to cure him, as I Christ am able, he does him a wrong; for he denies him that help which he owes him by the law of charity." Our Lord thus plainly signifies that not to do an act of kindness to a sick man on the sabbath day when you are able to do it, is really to do him a wrong. But it is never lawful to do a wrong; and therefore it is always lawful to do good, not excepting even the sabbath day, for that is dedicated to God and to good works. Whence it is a greater sin to do a wrong on the sabbath than on other days; for thus the sanctity of the sabbath is violated, just as it is all the more honoured and sanctified by doing good. In our Lord's judgment, then, to neglect to save, when you have it in your power to do so, is to destroy. They held their peace. They could not answer him. They are obstinate indeed in their infidelity, who, when they can say nothing against the truth, refuse to say anything for it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand,.... After he had reasoned with them from the lesser to the greater, upon their own principles and practices, in relieving and taking out a sheep fallen into a ditch, on a sabbath day, Matthew 12:10, and knowing "their thoughts", as Luke says, Luke 6:8, their reasonings and designs; and as the Persic version here, from thence "understanding their conspiracy", turns himself to the lame man, and bids him
stand forth: or, as in Luke, "rise up and stand forth in the midst", Luke 6:8. He bid him rise up from his seat, and stand forth in the midst of the synagogue: this he said, partly to raise the attention of the people to the following miracle; and partly to move commiseration upon the sight of the object; and to aggravate the hard heartedness of the Pharisees; as also, that it might be manifest to all, that the man's hand was really withered; and that there was no fraud in the following cure.
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