The Sabbath Essay
The part I found significant in the Gospel of Mark is 3:1-6. It narrates about the act of Jesus on Sabbath – the seventh day of the week. In the following passages, I would try to explain the meaning of Sabbath in the Bible, the importance of Jesus’ deed and its consequence.
The Sabbath is considered to be a holy day by the God’s Ten Commandments. It is the day when God created a human in accordance to his image. The Ten Commandments are the guide for the all generations of humans where the Lord proclaimed the principles of how they should live. The Fourth Commandment is about the Sabbath, the day which later Jesus, being the son of God, proclaimed his day and called people to perform good deeds. The Sabbath is the day when each person is blessed. It is considered to be the day of freedom, rest and faith, and that is how Jesus was going to make people percept it. Humans are forbidden to work on this day. One may follow the words of Jesus from the previous section of Mark, where it is said: “The Sabbath was made for the man” (Mark 2:27).
Jesus was always an example for his followers, that’s why people expected him to stick to the laws which the Lord proclaimed just as they did. In Mark 3:2, that describes an occurrence in synagogue, some people treated the case with an increased attention to whether Jesus was going to help the man with a withered hand. As a matter of fact, they were just searching for the reasons to accuse him. These people appeared to be not as faithful as Jesus for the first time and were about to put Jesus to the test. From the other acts of Jesus mentioned by other authors of the gospels, one may notice that people’s faith strengthened significantly after witnessing the miracles and did not hesitate anymore.
This time, at the synagogue, Jesus faced a man with a disease. He asked him to move closer and addressed an appeal to people around: "Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" (Mark 3:4). By this, he meant that a good act would never be condemned on a holy day. Saving life is the best option, and one should never hesitate to do this. In Mark 3:5, Jesus healed the hand of a man.
One of Jesus’ concerns then was the distrustfulness of the people around. They remained silent during the whole event of healing, and no one even responded to Jesus’ question about lawfulness of good and evil deeds. On the one hand, they appeared to be cruel or even inhuman. Jesus wondered why their hearts were so hard. But on the other hand, they might not want to support any of the sides and wait till the resolution of the occurrence.
Once again, I find the explanation for this in the lack of trust and belief in the Lord and in the influence of Pharisees. Jesus always accused Pharisees for the artificiality of what they teached. The teachings of Pharisees were aimed at making profit and earning money rather than following the principles which became basics for the Ten Commandments. Compassion and assistance were not their destiny. The opposition between Jesus and the Pharisees is obvious in Mark 3:6. After observing the miracle performed by Jesus, the Pharisees thought of killing Jesus.
Here the social opinion is very important. The Pharisees would never prefer Jesus to interfere with his noble deeds, which disclosed Jesus as an unselfish helper for the people. And Jesus was an impulse for the faithful people – after performing a new miracle, he was gaining new followers, who then had a reason to believe. Jesus was strengthening the faith of the people in the Lord. This was also obvious to the Pharisees, so they started plotting about killing Jesus. But before Jesus acted, the crowd was set negatively. People were not looking for optimism – they rather searched for a cause to accuse Jesus.
From this passage, one may grasp an idea about the human behavior and character. At first, flocking instinct has always been prevailing for each individual of the human race. At second, people are usually distrustful and suspicious for the first time. They always need a proof for everything. At third, people are afraid to be wrong, though will never forget to blame other people who they think are wrong themselves. The meaning of Sabbath in this passage is that there is no specific time for a good deed. With a good deed, you will never break the law. And no one has a right to accuse you, if you understand the importance and correctness of your actions. This is what this passage teaches us.