Mark 3:4-5 (KJV)
And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
When Jesus engaged these Jews with the Word of God, rather than answering Him or even responding to Him, they held their peace. The next verse tells us why; they had hard hearts.
This sort of hardness is often observable in people. When those who disagree with a particular thing refuse to communicate with the ones with whom they disagree they often resort instead to silence. Sometimes this is a sullen silence, moody and irritable. Sometimes it is a covert silence, watching, fact gathering, waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
The hardened heart cannot engage in genuine conservation because to do so opens at least three possibilities
- It may expose the weaknesses of their view
- It may include unintended persons, less hardened into the conversation
- It may introduce them to the possibility that they are wrong and need to change
Their silence protects their hardness.
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Mark 3:4-5 Guarding Their Hardening
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