Summary: Focusing on the healing of Jesus by naming each finger on the hand
THE HEALING HANDS OF JESUS
MARK 1:40-42; 8:25; 9:27
OSCEOLA, AR FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH
INTRO. I was thinking the other day about how much we use the word “hand” in our daily conversations. Give me a hand. Hand it over. I climbed hand over hand. Many hands make light work. He’s a handy guy to have around. Let’s shake hands. I am sure there are many more ways we use the word. But I am also struck about hands when it comes to Jesus and spiritual matters. Praying hands, and the laying on of hands. In chapter 1 of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus and the disciples are on the move. They are roaming through Galilee, proclaiming the good news and casting out demons, the Bible says. Then we come to verses 40-42. In chapter 8 of Mark, Jesus has just fed thousands of people with a little boy’s lunch. A blind man is brought to him and the request is made that Jesus simply touch him! Jesus does, and verse 25 tells us. Once again, in Mark 9, Jesus removes an unclean spirit from a boy and he lies there so still that the crowd thinks he is dead. Instead, verse 27 gives us what happened. What is about the hands of Jesus that is so beautiful, so necessary, so life-giving? To explain, let’s take it one finger at a time.
I. The pinkie stands for “H”, and “H” means Healer. No one can read the Gospels and doubt that Jesus is a Healer! People were constantly mobbing him because they knew he could bring healing! Did you see all the uproar the other day when Prince William and Kate Middleton left the hospital with their new baby boy? What a crowd! A lot looked to be reporters, photographers and other media types, but surely some were just ordinary people like you and me who will be able to tell the rest of their lives of how they saw the royals leave the hospital with their new baby, the future King of England! What do you think people said when they went home after getting close to Jesus? Don’t you think they treasured that experience, those memories? And when they saw him stretch out his hands and bring healing to a poor soul, broken in body and spirit, what it must have done to all who saw! The “H” stands for Healer.
II. The ring finger stands for “A”, and “A” means Alive. Jesus was alive and Lord over death, even his own death. Because of that fact, what Jesus took care of stayed that way. He is the living Lord, the Lord of the Church, and we are the Church Triumphant only because he is alive! His hands could reach out the way they did and bring life and healing because it was Jesus who was doing it. Our faith that Jesus can do what he says he will do makes a difference. A survey revealed that 99% of doctors believe there is a relationship between faith and physical healing. In one study, 200 heart patients were assigned to Christians to pray for them, while another group of 200 received no prayers that the doctors knew about. None of the heart patients knew about the prayers, but the group who received prayers developed half the complications of the group that did not receive prayers! Another study followed heart bypass patients who prayed for themselves. 9% of the general population die withing 6 months of heart bypass surgery, but only 5% of those who prayed their own healing died. In fact, none of those who were classed as deeply religious died during the study (“Doctors Have Faith in Faith” illustration at www.bible.org). Looking to the living Jesus at the time of our greatest need will make a difference! The “A” stands for Alive.
III. The middle finger stands for “N”, and “N” means Nothing. There is nothing that is outside the healing reach of Jesus. Nothing too large or too small. Too embarrassing or shameful. Too painful or too secret. Nothing! Even before Jesus was born, when the angel appeared to Mary to let her know about how she was going to give birth to the Son of God, she was told in Luke 1:37, “Nothing will be impossible with God.” Aren’t those brave words? If we hear a human being say something like that, don’t we feel they are out of line or boastful or arrogant? But with Jesus, it happens to be the truth. He was mobbed by the crowds in his day, people with all kinds of diseases and conditions and issues were thrown in front of him because the people were convinced that he could do something about the problem! Nothing was out of his reach; his hands could touch anything and change it! If I feel that God is doing nothing in my life, could it be because I have something that I will not let him put his hands on, when he wants to deal with everything there is about me, and if there is anything I hold back, it becomes a stumbling block to the healing that Jesus has? I challenge you to find something that God does not want to deal with, that the Holy Spirit will not speak to, that Jesus will not put his hands on. Look all you want, it does not exist. The “N” stands for Nothing.