Summary: A sermon on Jesus healing the man with a withered, shriveled hand on the Sabbath- Luke 6:6-11. (Much material taken from Sermon Central Contributor Clark Tanner in "Christ: Compassionate". I reworked the outline)
Sermon for 6/25/2006
Ron Ritchie- Some years ago we sent a team of men to minister at a Midwestern college. We were holding meetings in a large room in the women’s dormitory. There was a rule at that college that the girls had to be in their rooms at 10:30 pm. We were having a great meeting. These college girls were going to each other, apologizing and being forgiven and praying for one another. Some were making decisions about their faith in Jesus Christ. It was a great moment. Promptly at 10:30 the Dorm Mother appeared, looking like a thunderstorm. She said, “It is 10:30, and time for these girls to be in their rooms!” One of us said, “Yes, but we can’t stop this meeting now.” She said, “I’m the Dorm Mother here, and the rule requires that they be in bed at 10:30, and I’m going to see that it’s observed!” One of us had the sense to say, “Well, we understand your problem. Could we go in and talk with you about it?” So we sent one fellow in who talked for 2 ½ hours while the meeting went on!
If this Dorm Mother really cared about her girls, she would have attended that meeting and granted an extension of time. She didn’t really care about the college girls; she just cared about the rules!
A. How much do we care about people?
B. (1 Pet 1:22) Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart.
Thesis: From our Scriptures this morning, let’s talk about three people.
I. The Man with the withered hand
A. We are not told how old the man was; only that he was a man. We are not told if the man’s hand was withered from birth, or due to later onset of palsy, or some tragic accident in his work. We are only told that it was withered. In a time that virtually any form of activity, whether it is work or play or daily chores required the use of the hands, you can imagine how his entire life must have been hindered by this handicap. We may suppose the man was poor, because he would not have been worth much to any employer as workers with two good hands. He had to eat and drink with one hand, carry things with one hand, and if he was married, he could only caress the adored cheek of his beloved with one hand...perhaps only hug her with one arm.
B. We are also told that it was his right hand. In the Jewish culture the right hand was an important hand. With the right hand, a Jewish man was to bless his sons as they came into adulthood like the patriarchs did in the Old Testament.
C. we see the disciples of Jesus bickering about who would sit at his right hand in the Kingdom. To sit at someone’s right hand was a symbol of favor. Heard the expression, “His right hand man.” To sit at this man’s right hand was not a symbol of favor.
D. This man was a faithful Jewish man. He was at the synagogue and the people there knew him. He could not attend services in the temple, but he had a right as a Jew to sit in any synagogue. However, his condition might have been thought of as punishment for some sin.
E. Where could a one-handed man ever go for any real sympathy and encouragement and help except to the people of God? Here he is, taking his usual place in the synagogue among his family and friends; people of this small Galilean village he had known all of his life, and he was there to worship his God in spirit and in truth. And what was the attitude of his leaders?
F. Their attitude should have been the one of compassion, kindness, and a willingness to help him in whatever way they could. (Psa 82:3 NIV) Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. (Psa 82:4 NIV) Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
G. (Isa 1:16 NIV) wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, (Isa 1:17 NIV) learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
H. This echoes the words of (James 1:27 NIV) Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.