Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Stretch Out Your Hand



A man whose hand was withered came into the assembly.


This man was unable to write, point, eat or do anything useful with his hand.  He probably went into the synagogue to pray and was not expecting much.  He saw Jesus there but didn't even approach him.  He didn't care to ask him for healing - as it was the sabbath.


For a people steeped in tradition, healing was work and work was not allowed on this holy day.


Jesus, was being watched by the crowd.  Somehow they knew He would do something different today.  


Then Jesus called the man with the withered hand forward - in front of everyone.


"Then he said to the Pharisees,
"Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?"
But they remained silent."  (Mark 3:1-6)


God was so grieved when the Pharisees couldn't answer.  They didn't know what was right from wrong.  They only knew - the way things always were.


It makes me think - is there something in my life that grieves God?  Is there something that needs to be changed?  Is there something that seems right but actually isn't?


Jesus was not afraid of the consequences of doing right.  He knew what the Pharisees would do once the healing took place.  Doing right was still above self preservation.  Jesus expects this from us - to do right despite whatever inconvenience or challenge arises from it.


Once we do right, someone's life changes.  Once we do right, someone is empowered to also live right.  


When Jesus healed the man, He also healed us - He also stretched out our hand to others in need - and to do what is right.  He stretched our hand to others whom society might call the untouchables.  He stretched our hand to the outcast in school. He stretched our hand to the dirty, dying and destitute whom others treated with disdain.


Thank you Lord Jesus for stretching our hand!

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