(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
Here again is Luke 6:6 through 10:
Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, "Arise and stand here." And he arose and stood. Then Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?" And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.
In the last Gem we saw that…
- …it was the right hand that was withered – the hand of power! This put the man at a distinct social disadvantage. Ninety percent of people are right-handed and, as my left-handed wife says, “The world is made for right-handed people!” That is, a lot of things – the way doors open, some kitchen utensils, and tools generally, etc. – are set up for righties!
If this man in Luke 6 was naturally right-handed, and especially if the paralysis of his hand happened later in life, he would have had a hard time making a living and coping in society! Also, such affliction would be seen as punishment from God for his sin!
- …the left hand was considered unclean, used for toilet issues, touching anything considered unclean, and never used to eat, to greet another person, to give or receive a present, or for any part of worship!
- …this incident happened on the Sabbath, the day of rest! And the Jewish legalists over the years had laid so many ‘can’ts’ and ‘don’ts’ to God’s revealed word, that one could hardly do anything but sit and meditate on the Sabbath!
- “…the scribes and Pharisees watched…[Jesus] closely whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him.”
- …the Lord never touched the man! So the Jewish leaders could not find accusation against Him!
What can we learn from this, to apply it to our own lives?
- We are all crippled before God!
✞ We were originally created in the perfect image of God (see Genesis 1:27), designed to live forever and reflect His glory. ✞ Sin entered in, and with it, death, disease, and destruction! (See Genesis 3:16-19). Our first par- ents were separated from their holy Creator and from His paradise on the earth now cursed. They now had a sin nature in rebellion against God, and they passed that sin nature on to all of us! (See Romans 5:12). ✞ Every mothers’ child is now under the condemnation of God (see John 3:18. 19, 36; Romans 3:10, 23)... .....unless we are confronted by Jesus and something miraculous happens!
- The man could not reach his hand out to Jesus! It was withered and immovable! Many people feel they cannot respond to Jesus’ invitation: “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28).
✞ They feel that they are too sinful for God to ever accept them. ✞ They are angry at Him for allowing some disaster to strike their lives. ✞ They have pushed away His invitation to come for so long, they no longer have the power to respond. ✞ They have their own religion (or no religion) that they rely on to see them through life.
- But Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.” And He never tells anyone to do something without giving them the power to do it! As Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
✞ The man stretched out his hand, and as he did what the Lord commanded, “...his hand was restored as whole as the other.” ✞ The Lord Jesus Christ calls YOU to reach out to Him! Just obey, and see the miracles that will happen!
- Others may not appreciate Him or the miracles He will do in repentant sinners’ lives. They may ridicule you for believing He can so simply save and restore you.
✞ But Jesus died to do just that! As it tells us in I Peter 2:24 (God’s Word to the Nations), “Christ carried our sins in His body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God's approval. His wounds have healed you.” ✞ And He forever lives to receive those who come to Him believing! (See Hebrews 7:25). ✞ For those who would oppose you for believing in such a ‘fantasy’ as salvation through Jesus Christ by faith in Him, the Lord Himself told us in John 15:18 through 21: If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, “A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.
The man…whose right hand was withered reached out to Jesus…….and his life was forever changed! He can do the same for you!
Just reach out to Him!