|A man with a deformed hand was surrounded by the Pharisees|
“Then Jesus went over to their synagogue, where he noticed a man with a deformed hand. The Pharisees asked Jesus, ‘Does the law permit a person to work by healing on the Sabbath?’ (They were hoping he would say yes, so they could bring charges against him.) And he answered, ‘If you had a sheep that fell into a well on the Sabbath, wouldn’t you work to pull it out? Of course you would. And how much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Yes, the law permits a person to do good on the Sabbath.’ Then he said to the man, ‘Hold out your hand.’ So the man held out his hand, and it was restored, just like the other one!” (Matthew 12:9-13, NLT).
We don’t know if the man in the synagogue was born with deformed hand or had acquired it by an accident or disease. Whatever the cause, the hand was useless, and the man’s condition would have greatly affected his ability to live a normal life. Although the man didn’t ask Jesus for anything, he needed healing.
After Jesus announced that doing good on the Sabbath was lawful, he did exactly that. Jesus told the man to hold out his hand. In response and with everyone watching, the man stretched his hand in front of him. In faith, the man, submitting his will to Jesus, obeyed. The moment he did so, the hand “was restored, just like the other one!”
Think about this: Jesus sees, and he acts. Bringing the man to the front of the assembly, Jesus healed his hand. As with the leper (Matthew 8:3) and the paralyzed man (Matthew 9:6-7), Jesus gave this man his life back. The man would be able to work again and no longer have to face the embarrassment of his deformity. Yes, Jesus mends broken lives – physically, emotionally and spiritually. And he stores us. Jesus told the man to stretch out his arm. In faith, the man, submitting his will to Jesus, obeyed.
Friends, Jesus still heals. He still sees us as individuals and asks us to trust him, to give him our deformities, our sorrows. Jesus forgives our sins and restores our relationship with him. And he can heal our hands, legs, minds, and hearts. Jesus didn’t heal every lame person in Palestine, but he healed this man. Whether or not he makes whole our deformed hands right now, eventually he will – we will be made new. Amen.
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP.