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Summary: The hands of Jesus were not the hands of a scribe, a rabbi or a priest. His were the calloused hands of a carpenter!

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THE HANDS OF JESUS

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven." And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. Matthew 19:13-15

I. THE HANDS OF JESUS WERE COMPASSIONATE HANDS

He placed His compassionate, tender and loving hands on the little children. (text)

He placed His compassionate healing hands upon the sick; the lame; the deaf; and the blind. So great were His works that even the skeptical and scornful crowd in Nazareth cried out, "Where did this man get these things, and what is this wisdom given to Him, that such miracles as these are performed by His hands?” Mark 6:2

II. THE HANDS OF JESUS WERE WORKING HANDS

The angry crowd in Nazareth disparagingly cried out, "Is this not the carpenter, the Son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?” Mark 6:3 The hands of Jesus were not the hands of a scribe, a rabbi or a priest. His were the calloused hands of a carpenter!

III. THE HANDS OF JESUS WERE PRAYING HANDS

And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done." Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke 22:41-44

IV. THE HANDS OF JESUS ARE OUT-STRETCHED HANDS

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” Matthew 23:37

"Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

In 1965, as I was flying from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro where I would bring a series of lectures on “The Holy Spirit’ at our Southern Baptist Seminary there, we passed over Mt. Corcovado (Hunchback Mountain) which overlooks the city of Rio de Janeiro. At the summit, standing with outstretched arms, is the statue named “Christ the Redeemer” which can be seen from any part of the city. It is 98’ tall with arms spanning 92’ and weighing 1,145 tons. In the "sign language" of divine love, the outstretched arms seem to say: “Come unto Me, and I will give you rest….”

V. THE HANDS OF JESUS WERE NAIL-PIERCED HANDS

In a locked upper room on that first Easter, “Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, "Peace be with you." When He had said this, He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. John 20:19b-20.

Some years back, before skin-grafts were a common medical procedure, a certain girl throughout all her life openly showed her shame for the deep scars that covered both of her mother’s hands. The girl was so ashamed of her mother’s hands that she constantly insisted that her mother wear gloves whenever they were out in public so that she would not be embarrassed. This attitude on the daughter’s part continued into her adult years bringing daily heartbreak to her mother.

After a short illness in that day when medical science had no cure for pneumonia, the mother died. While the body laid in state in the funeral parlor, the girl’s aunt called her aside and told her the reason why her mother’s hand were so terribly scarred. It happened when the girl was a mere babe and, while playing one evening near the fireplace, lost her balance and fell into the burning flame. Her mother immediately plunged her hands into the fire and grabbed her baby and not waiting to locate a cloth or blanket, put out the fire with her hands. Miraculously the baby was spared severe burns but the mother’s hands were grievously burned. After weeks in bandages, her hands were finally unwrapped, exposing the deep and hideous scars that told the story of a mother’s love for her child.

As her aunt finished the story, the girl broke out in uncontrollable weeping, and ran toward the coffin which held her mother’s body. She swiftly removed the white gloves that covered her mother’s hands and began kissing them again and again. The guilt that she felt for the years she had ridiculed the scarred and unsightly appearance of her mother’s hands now collapsed upon the girl with a vengeance. While kissing her mother’s hands, the girl kept repeating, “These scars were for me.”

One day we shall stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and behold our Savior. We will grasp the nail-scarred hands of our Lord Jesus and cry out “These scars were for me!”

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