What does Mark 3:5 mean?The point of the Ten Commandments is to honor God and man. The Mosaic Law explains how to worship God and respect other people. But instead of giving priority to God and others, the Pharisees give priority to laws for the sake of laws. They build a fence of extra regulations around God's statutes. They seek to ensure no one will even come close to breaking the law. In their zeal for the letter of the law they forget the purpose of the law.
The Sabbath presents an ideal example of the difference between these two concepts. God gave the Sabbath as a rest from work, intended to both glorify Him and refresh His followers. Instead, the Pharisees' legalism binds the people. Their approach suffocates man with overly minute prohibitions, which destroy both the joy and the rest the Sabbath was meant to provide. As a result, and here in particular, the Pharisees reject God's gift and lead others to reject it as well.
This attitude both angers and grieves Jesus. He is described with the Greek words orgēs and syllypoumenos. The first is a common word referring to wrath or fury. The second is based on a less-common term which implies a "giving" or "sharing" of grief. Jesus is both angry and saddened, for the sake of the people around Him, that the Pharisees are reacting in this way.
The word "hard" comes from the Greek root word porosis, and means "to be so calloused as to be dull or numb." "Heart" comes from the Greek root word kardia, and represents the inner source of life, discernment, and will. The Pharisees' discernment is covered with a hardened callous that puts a shield between them and God.
With a few simple words, requiring no sacrifice from Jesus, and only the Holy Spirit's work, Jesus provides blessed relief to a man in need. The man accepts the restoration and is healed, providing a gracious but unheeded example for the religious scholars who should know better. The man's healing parallels God's work of salvation. Salvation is the work of God that we cannot earn or achieve through our own efforts (John 3:16; Ephesians 2:8–9). We merely need to set aside our pride and accept it.