The First Commentary on Mark: An Annotated Translation

By Michael Cahill | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER 3

The fifth miracle: There was a man with a withered hand. To him it is said, Stretch out your hand ( Mark 3:1).

He represents the misers who have no wish to give but who only want to receive.1 They want to grasp and not distribute. They are told to stretch out their hands. In other words, the thief must no longer steal. Rather he must labor, making an effort to do good with his own hands, so that he might have something to share with the poor.2

And going up on the mountain, he called to him those whom he wanted, etc., as far as who betrayed him ( Mark 3:13-1 9).3

They are called on a mountain, that is to say, those who are eminent in merit and in word, so that the place should correspond with such lofty merits.

That is, that the twelve might be with him ( Mark 3:14).

____________________
1
Cf. Acts 20: 35.
2
Cf. "Mark" 3:16; cf. Eph 4:28. This is a remarkable example of an inconsistency between the allegorical interpretation of a story and the literal-historical sense. Ideally, the latter was to be respected and serve as anchor and guide for the allegorical. Although the man stretches out his hand on Christ's instructions and is enabled to do so because of Christ's miraculous cure, nevertheless he is presented as an example of a miser. Then the stretching is taken in another sense, as the act of working. Each of the different senses ignores the intrinsic sense of the healing as the restoration of the man's well-being.
3
The opening and closing words identify the pericope for treatment. Specific parts within this section will be cited as necessary.

-43-

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