We are studying the Gospel of Mark on Friday mornings. We are only as far as 3:6 when the Pharisees and Herodians left the synagogue where Jesus healed a man’s deformed hand on the Sabbath and held a meeting on how best to destroy this guy Jesus. But what is clear already in Mark, like love and marriage in the song, faith and action go together Brazil and the Amazon.
When Jesus called the man with the withered hand to the front he responded. There in front of everyone who could see his deformity Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.” Now the man had to risk that if he did and nothing happened, he would be humiliated, but if he did take the risk, trusting that Jesus could heal his useless hand he would be healed. In trust, shaky as it may have been, he stretched out his hand and it was restored without a further word from Jesus.
We see it in the earlier scene of some men carrying a paralyzed friend up the narrow stairs on the outside of a house, because the crowd was blocking the door. They tore a hole in the thatched roof, lowered the man in front of Jesus. Mark reports, “Jesus saw their faith.” Jesus forgave the man’s sins right in front of the theological scholars. When they objected to this ungodly, Godly behavior on Jesus part, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.” The question that remained in the air for a minute was, “Dare I trust that I am no longer paralyzed and risk trying to get up?” But he responded by putting his faith into action.
Faith in action is a faith that can be seen.