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RECIPIENTS OF GOD’S GREAT GRACE – THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND



Have you ever walked through a wheat field when the grain was golden and ripe?


Pluck a head from a tall stalk, rub it between your hands, and then gently blow away the chaff. There, in the palm of your hands lay the tiny grains of wheat. Now, pop those little seeds in your mount and enjoy the taste of fresh wheat seed! Yum!


That’s what Jesus, Peter, James, John, and the others were doing.


“On the Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to make their way, picking some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’ ” (Mark 2:23–24).


The hyper-religious Pharisees saw Jesus and His disciples pluck some heads of wheat and immediately began to accuse them of harvesting on the Sabbath, something illegal according to the rabbinic rules.


Jesus might have called them a bunch of dummies. He didn’t. So, what did He do?


At the synagogue, on the Sabbath, in full view of all these self-righteous and self-important religious muckety-mucks, Jesus beckoned a man to approach. The man was standing in the back of the crowded room. He was shy. Reserved. He surely didn’t want to become a spectacle. His right hand was crippled (Luke 6:6). The muscles and flesh had atrophied until his spindly arm and hand hung lifelessly at his side.


With the man standing to his side, Jesus asked his accusers a simple question. “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” (Mark 3:4).


Obviously, it wasn’t illegal to do good on the Sabbath! How would they respond to Jesus? They didn’t. “They were silent” (Mark 3:4).


“After looking around at them with anger, he was grieved at the hardness of their hearts and told the man, ‘Stretch out your hand’ ” (Mark 3:5).


Though Jesus was perturbed with the religious hypocrites, He looked compassionately at the broken man. “Sir, do the impossible! Flex your fingers! Bend your elbow! Do what you simply cannot do!”


Jesus might ask you to do the impossible, but Jesus will equip you and enable you to do everything He asks. He doesn’t call the equipped, but He equips the called. With Jesus, nothing is impossible.


Sir, “stretch out your hand!”


Imagine the scene. He hadn’t wiggled his fingers in years. But at Jesus’ command, the disabled man was graciously enabled.


What is God asking you to do?




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