Stand Forth. Stretch Forth

Mark 3: 1And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.

We can’t do just one of these instructions and receive help from the Lord.  We can’t get the cart before the horse.  These two things changed this man’s life.  It changed his future because he became a follower of Jesus Christ.  He had a need.  Part of him was not as it should be.  There may have been others there—blind, deaf—no telling the needs present.  The greatest need was in the hearts of those prominent in the synagogue.  They appeared to be righteous but weren’t.  Their own “churchy-ness” robbed them.  The Messiah was being unfolded before their eyes and they were too stubborn to see.  Many go to church today, die lost, and go to hell.  We need Jesus inside and out, in every part of our being.  There is no part he cannot touch.

Maybe my need isn’t as great as someone else’s.  The soul is the most important thing.  Always have a prayer request for your spiritual life.  Maybe things are fine….except for this one little thing.  This man had one withered hand.  He needed both.  We need to be fully turned over to the Lord.  The Bible says trust the Lord with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him.  We need to commit our every which way to the Lord.  We can because he cares.  He cared as much for this man’s little infirmity as he did those with worse ones.  Even though it may be just a little withered hand, Jesus cares.  We tend to categorize our problems as little, big and large.  In God’s eyes they are equal.  He could ignore and not help us, but he shows us love.  He shows as much love and care with the little as he does with the big.  Jesus is our Savior; he’s our Shepherd.  He cares for us.

This man was nobody in the crowd.  He was thankful to see Jesus; others were worse off than he was, but to Jesus this man’s problem was king size.  He had no life in his hand.  He probably hid it in shame.  There may be parts in each of us that we hide.  Give them to Jesus.  It was just a hand, but with all the afflictions there Jesus chose the man with just a hand problem.  He locked eyes with the man and said stand forth.  He was not lost in the crowd.  Neither are you.  Jesus sees every one of us.  He told this man to stand forth.  All power, skill, and authority are in Jesus.  As he looks your way, respond to his eyes and his command.  The man stood forth.  Jesus can never help unless you obey command number one and come forth.

Jesus then said stretch forth thine hand.  Everyone probably shook their heads.  Don’t worry what others say.  Do what Jesus says.  The man stretched out his hand and didn’t make a big deal about it.  Get to the altar.  Stretch it out—all of it—and give it to the Lord.  As soon as this man did what Jesus said his hand was made whole.  It was as good as the other one.  You can be as whole as you should be if you come forth and stretch it out to the Lord.  Will you stand forth and stretch forth to the Lord?

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