I was reading an old favorite and was once again marveling at this man's response when God showed me something else! So, today's snack is found in Mark 3:16 and actually has two parts to it, like "crackers and cheese." They go together.
If I was to write a book about unnamed heroes this guy would be in the top 5. He is most commonly referred to as, "The Man With The Withered Hand." This is who he was before his encounter with Jesus, not after! In my opinion the man needs a new name. Personally, I think I'll call him "THE MAN!"
I love this guy because of the way that he responded. He didn't hold back despite the circumstances. He knew, the crowd knew, Jesus knew "they" were sitting there watching, waiting, judging what Jesus would do..."that they might accuse him."
Jesus, despite "them," said, "Stand forth."--- THE MAN STANDS. Jesus despite "their," silence at His question, "Is it lawful...?" tells him to, "Stretch forth your hand." ---THE MAN STICKS OUT HIS HAND.
I love him because he did it! He stood when Jesus said stand. He stretched when Jesus said stretch. He exposed that withered, dried up, ugly looking hand. He wasn't fearful. He didn't keep it tucked away. He didn't try to hide and disappear in the crowd. Despite the onlookers he stretched it out there for Jesus to deal with.
We all have "withered" areas in our lives that we need to expos to Jesus so that He will restore them and make them whole. Too often we don't. We keep them hidden and tucked away because of "THEM."
Question is.....Do we run and hide our "withered" parts like Adam hiding in the garden or do we expose them to Jesus like, The Man?
Okay, So, that thought was the crackers portion of today's snack here comes the cheese. The something else that he showed me The man wasn't the only one Jesus gave the opportunity to be made whole in this encounter. After he told The Man to stand He turned and... saith unto "them," Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? To save life, or to kill?" But they held their peace." And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, "Stretch forth thine hand." And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other... vs.3-5
He asked them a question, He gave them a chance to respond. A chance to stand for doing good and choosing life rather than doing evil and choosing death. He asked them to choose. Their silence exposed the hardness of their hearts for all to see. The Man's hand wasn't the only withered thing in this crowd. A hardened heart is the most wasted, withered thing of all!
My prayer today is that you and I as believers will be brave the same way this man was. That we will stand when He says stand, stretch when He says stretch, and expose to Him anything that might cause us to wither away.