Mark 3:1-6 [NLT] – Jesus heals a man with a shriveled hand.
1 Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand. 2 Since it was the Sabbath, Jesus’ enemies watched him closely. If he healed the man’s hand, they planned to accuse him of working on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” 4 Then he turned to his critics and asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?” But they wouldn’t answer him. 5 He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts. Then he said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So the man held out his hand, and it was restored! 6 At once the Pharisees went away and met with the supporters of Herod to plot how to kill Jesus.
Put yourself in the story as each of the characters. With which character do you most relate?
I relate to Jesus the most in this story. I relate to his frustration with his enemies. His sadness about their hard hearts. Everyone seems to come to the “synagogue” with an agenda, what’s mine? To heal? To be healed? Frustration? Fellowship? What?
Be the man with the shriveled hand. Are you incapacitated in any part of your life?
Some days I think my heart in shriveled, surely not working at capacity. Some days I think my mind is shriveled, “I just don’t GET IT” now and then. Some days I think my soul is shriveled, I just don’t make enough room for all of Jesus.
Be the Pharisee. Are you disturbed when Jesus breaks the religious rules or does something out of the ordinary?
I’m quick to answer, “I’m nothing like the Pharisees!” I’m not disturbed by Jesus breaking the religious rules or doing something out of the ordinary. But when I read of Jesus being sad because of their ‘hard hearts” – well let’s be honest, I’m more like the Pharisees, than I am like Jesus. When was the last time I did something out of the ordinary for God’s glory?
APPLY IT! How does this passage apply to your life and what will you do about it?
I’m going to be thankful that like the man with the shriveled hand, Jesus has noticed me too. I’m going to be mindful that like the Pharisees with the hard hearts, mine also is hardened and needs to soften to the healing presence of Jesus.
Father, Teach me to hold out my hand. Teach me to hold out my heart. Teach me to trust Jesus to be Jesus every day of every week; a Jesus that “notices” everyone, everywhere, all the time. Teach me to be more like Jesus.