And Jesus’ interaction with these sick ones is so alarming. When Simon’s mother-in-law (Peter did have a wife!) had a high fever, Jesus “bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her” (Luke 4:39 NIV). He sticks his finger in a deaf guy’s ear. Rubs spit mud in a guy’s eyes. Tells a woman who’s had her period and been secretly unclean for twelve years to explain the nature of her issue to him in front of her neighbors.
“Stand up in front of everyone,” he commands the guy with the withered hand (Mark 3:3). And then “Stretch out your hand” (Mark 3:5).
(Which, reading it now—forgive me—reminds me of Jodi Arias’s defense attorney telling her to hold up her broken finger for the jury to see.)
And the people watching complain and doubt—one whose authority? and what, he’s working on the Day of Rest?!—and Jesus gets enraged. “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts” (Mark 3:5).
And I’m thinking, what good stories! I want my students to write stories with so much happening! So concrete! So much conflict!
And then the miraculous result:“He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored” (Mark 3:5).
And no, I didn’t make a mistake. One numbered verse, Mark 3:5, contains all that rage and commanding and stretching and restoring.
Best stories in the world. I mean.