Mark 3:2

And they watched Jesus closely, to see if he would cure the man on the Sabbath, so that they might have a charge to bring against him.

we know our enemies
better than ourselves
no not better better
but predictable better
they are consistent
in their mean ways
while we always have
a virtuous reason
for changing for the better
we see them approach
and can see it in their eye
disruption dismay disorder
they can’t help themselves
so we wait and watch
with a constancy
all our own
giving no option
and no quarter

As suspected, it is not just Jesus and a man with a withered “hand”. This is our own story as well. We are not alone. That done in secret will be revealed. Opponents will gladly give us enough rope to hang ourself.

In this public setting, the “they” who are paying attention cannot be limited to opponents. Even supporters will have a reason to be interested in what is going to happen and how it will play out.

One of the things that keeps everyone intrigued is that it is difficult to keep up with Jesus. His itinerary and agenda behind that still appear rather arbitrary, unscripted, and chaotic. His is not a straight-line, connect-the-dots, approach.

The Pharisees have a home-field advantage in the synagogue. After all, their interpretation of Mosaic Law does fulfill a significant community function—refereeing religious boundaries. Jesus has already been warned (2:24) to watch what he does on the Sabbath because humans do not have authority or ability to change Sabbath rules intended even for G*D. Will the warning have Jesus step-down or will it trigger him to stretch the meaning of Sabbath one more time? Will a game between Jesus and the Pharisees come to an end with a Pharisee victory? Will there be a walk-off home run by Jesus?

Word will likely soon be travelling through the community that there is about to be a fight. Even those not initially present will sense that something is up and come running to see the car-wreck, the show-down. Since the last military action by Romans or resistance by the Zealots, this has got to be what will be talked about in the market for days or weeks. To be able to chime in about what you saw and heard will be important for a claim to fame.

The plot thickens, breath is held, lines prepared—Action!

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