Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Jesus had to deal with the “fundamentalists” of his day. Those who were so rigid in their beliefs and practices that they couldn’t celebrate the mercy of this man’s healing. Mark describes this as “hardness of heart”
This hard hearted attitude gave rise to one of the strangest alliances of all… the Pharisees and Herodians conspiring together against Jesus. Politics does indeed create strange bedfellows. The Herodians hated the Pharisees for their exclusive legalism and interference. The Pharisees hated the Herodians because of their protected power base from the Roman invaders and their worldy wealth. But both groups feared and hated Jesus equally as his vision of God threatened their authority and status.
Yet Jesus focused on the needs of the person. People came first. Politics came last.