Stretching Out a Withered Hand

“He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”–Mark 3:5, NIV

Yesterday I touched on the first half of this verse. Today we’ll look at the remarkable second half.

Picture yourself as the man with the withered hand. Make a fist as a symbol of a withered hand. Now, pretend that the computer screen is Jesus and move your fist towards it. Have you stretched out your hand? No. You have stretched out your arm. The man with the withered hand could have done that easily, but that’s not what Jesus told him to do. How do you stretch forth your hand? By opening your fist. You can do that effortlessly, but for the man in the synagogue, it was impossible. That, in fact, was his trouble.

Jesus asked the man to do something that he could not do on his own. He could not stretch out his hand; it was withered. But by an act of faith, he did it anyway.The healing came to him by obeying what, from anyone else, would have been an unreasonable order. When Jesus asks us to do the impossible, we should do no less. In the doing comes the divine empowerment. In the act of faith comes the healing.

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