Have you ever wanted something so badly you would do anything to get it? If you are old enough to remember the eighties, you may remember some television shows that dared people to do crazy things for big money. And they did! But right now, that ‘thing’ you really want? There is not enough money in the world that can buy it for you. There is no game show you can get onto that will help you win it.
Until along comes an extraordinary man who can give you this ‘thing.’
‘Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand.’ (Mark 3:1). He notices your hand! He can give you anything you want, and he doesn’t want your money! But there is a glitch. People are watching, and some influential leaders are in the audience.
On top of this, today is the Sabbath! Work is forbidden on the Sabbath, including healing someone to make them whole.
“Then he [Jesus] 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.’ (v.4).
Here you stand. You realize that to receive this gift, you would have to accept it in front of these people. ‘Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, “Come and stand in front of everyone.” (v.3)
What do you do? Stand in front of everyone and suffer the consequences? Or do you continue to suffer in silence?
That’s what the man with the withered hand had to decide.
Fortunately for him, he decided he wanted healing more than he feared the opinion of the leaders. So when Jesus called him, he went to him. He had lived his entire life without the use of this hand.
The man vulnerably stood in front of Jesus. ‘Then he [Jesus] said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” So, the man held out his hand, and it was restored!’ (v.5).
Jesus wants our restoration and wholeness for us even to the point of dying on the cross to give us that wholeness.
We need only to stand in front of him and hold our hand to receive it.
*For deeper reflection, listen to Mark 3 today.