On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” And he got up and came forward. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?” After looking around at them all, He said to him, “Stretch out your hand!”And he did so; and his hand was restored. But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Focus on The Man
I have a large scar on the back of my right hand. I have had this scar since I was a baby and in my younger years it was much larger and very obvious; it has gotten smaller with the passing of time. I never think much about it unless someone notices and comments. I used to feel very self-conscious and uncomfortable whenever I was asked about it.
Jesus sees the man with the withered hand and tells him to come forward. I can guess how the man feels, awkward and uncomfortable, not wanting to be noticed, yet,the man does not hesitate. Jesus could have healed the man from across the room but He wanted him to come close to Him. What was it about Jesus that compelled the man to obey? Whatever it was, I want that same “Jesus fragrance”. I want to be someone who draws people closer to Jesus. I want to stay close to Jesus, breathing deep of His aroma.
The man does not hesitate but walks forward; He makes the best decision and moves in the right direction – towards Jesus! Oh God, help me to continually press in close to you! The man was willing to be exposed before the crowd when he stretched out his hand and revealed his shame, his embarrassment. When we expose our weakness, our shame, sin loses its power over us and God’s glory is displayed for all to see.
What did the man think was going to happen? Jesus did not give a hint. The man walked forward in faith. He expected nothing and got everything! Oh Lord, increase my withered faith to obey you immediately without caring what others think!
Up Next – Focus 3, The Pharisees