“I See That Hand”
Adam and Eve started the cover up. They sin against God and hide. Out of fellowship. Broken. Marred by sin. So now they try to cover up. Moses tries to cover up his insecurity by refusing to speak. Saul tries to hide his low self-esteem by hiding in the baggage. He tries to conceal the void he had spiritually. He hides his face, wears a costume so that he can visit the witch and try to find spiritual answers. His successor continues the cover up. He attempts to hide his killer lust by killing the husband. His son continues the act. Solomon tries to conceal his lack of intimacy by surrounding himself with 1000 concubines. Relationships that would hide his lack of relationship. In Isaiah we find the Nation of Israel boldly admits to their desire to cover up when they say, “We have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves.” We all cover up. We all hide. We all conceal. We don’t want anyone to see our pain. That can be traced throughout Scripture. It occurs over and over again from Genesis until we reach Mark 3. What happened here? What was different about this guy?
Jesus comes into contact with a man with a withered hand. Now it was obvious to everyone that the man had an issue. His hand is withered. Something strikes me as interesting in this account though. Notice when Jesus speaks to the man and commands him to stretch forth his hand the man stretches out his withered hand. Why didn’t he stretch out his good hand? You may think that is stupid, but that is exactly what we do. Don’t’ we try to cover up the things in our life that stink or the things that are broken? Remember what Mary and Martha said to Jesus when He wanted to uncover Lazarus? Lord, he has been dead four days by now he stinks. Yes, but the only way to get life again is to uncover what stinks. Jesus is always trying to uncover the stinky things in our life.
When we come to church all of us are guilty of putting our best foot forward. We try to cover up our shortcomings. We refuse to respond to the altar call because we want everyone to think that we have it all together. We refuse to worship with no inhibition or fear because we don’t want anyone to see our withered condition. Like the withered hand, it may be obvious to everyone around us, but too many of are oblivious to the obvious. We truly think that we have God and everyone else fooled. But just as obvious as the man’s withered hand was to Jesus our issues are apparent to Him.
I am here to declare that you can stretch forth your good hand, you good side, your good act, your good façade all you want and you will never be healed, never be free, never be whole. If the man had stretched the other hand out I don’t believe he would have been healed.
The only way to receive the touch that Jesus has for you is to stretch forth your brokenness. You have to be willing to expose your weakness. You have to be bold enough to uncover your problem and extend it for God and everyone to see. I am asking you to extend your mess. Uncover your problems. I am asking you to expose your weakness. I am asking you to reveal your pain. I am asking you to learn from Paul when in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Your strength won’t get you to God. He will reach out to you when you reach out with your weakness. I am tired of coming to church and seeing broken, destroyed, depressed, suicidal, bound, addicted, struggling folks walking around as if everything is OK and passing on opportunity after opportunity to get touched by Jesus. That is why we do church, to give you the opportunity to touch God. He is here to touch you if you will stretch forth your hand. He is here to change your life if you will drop the tough facade. He is here to revolutionize your life if you will forget about what others may say or think. You have to be real. Real broken. Real hurt. Real angry. Real depressed.
As long as you are real and recognize that your pain is obvious and there is no reason to hide it any longer. Remember Jesus had the man stand up in front of everyone. He didn’t take him to a back room or out of sight. It is time for you to stand up and rip the cover off. Rip the mask off. Jesus is saying, “I see that hand, but do you?”
Run to Jesus and He will reach out and make you whole.