Friday 13 September 2013

Luke 6:6 “It also happened on another Sabbath that he entered into the synagogue and taught. There was a man there, and his right hand was withered. 8 Jesus said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Rise up, and stand in the middle.’ He arose and stood. 10 He looked around at them all, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did, and his hand was restored as sound as the other.”

Jesus had been doing many things on the Sabbath day that the religious leaders considered to be doctrinally unlawful.  On this particular day there was a man who had a withered hand.  And the religious crowd wondered if Jesus would heal him or not.

God is wanting to restore every part of us that is withered, whether it be a hand, a foot, or a soul.  God is a God of restoration.  And many of us have parts of our soul which are withered, just like this man’s hand.

If restoration means to return someone back to good health, than withered means just the opposite.  It is something that has lost good health and proper function.  It doesn’t mean that the person is a bad person.  It just means that a part of his life is in poor health and is dysfunctional.

Jesus told this man to stand up in the middle of the crowd.  There was perhaps a desire on this man’s part to stay in the shadows.  Perhaps he knew of the hatred brewing in the hearts of the religious people toward Jesus, and he didn’t want to have a part of it.  But by making him stand up in the midst of the crowd, Jesus was calling him to face his fears.

Then Jesus commanded him to stretch out his hand for all the world to see. Most of us know our weaknesses.  Or we have a good idea that they exist.  And we spend a life time trying to mask them, blame them on someone else, and excuse them away.  We use every technique possible to keep people from seeing where we are weak and flawed.

Notice, however, that Jesus didn’t take hold of this man’s hand.  Jesus didn’t force him to stretch it out.  The man had to act, in faith, on the word of Jesus.  And when he stretched out his hand, it was restored again to good health.

Today, God is calling you to stand up, and to stretch out that part of your soul in need of restoration.  You must have courage and faith, and not just desperation. You must first recognize that part of your soul that is withered, without life, and dysfunctional.  You must stand up in faith and trust Him to bring change to that part of your life.

This is the beginning of God’s restoration.

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