Summary: The Lord can meet every need, if we are willing to admit to our need; and He can set us free from our bondage.
THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND
I. THE PEOPLE IN THE SYNAGOGUE
1. THE DIVINE MAN
John 6:68 & 69 Simon Peter answered, “. . . Your words give eternal life. 69 We have faith in you, and we are sure that you are God’s Holy One.” [CEV]
2. THE DISABLED MAN
Leviticus 21:17 – 19 No descendant of yours can ever serve as my priest if he is blind or lame, if his face is disfigured, if one leg is shorter than the other, 19 if either a foot or a hand is crippled. [CEV]
3. THE DESPICABLE MEN
Matthew 23:23 “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. [NLT]
II. THE PRETENCE IN THE SYNAGOGUE
1. THE TEMPTING OF JESUS
“Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus”
Hebrews 4:15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same temptations we do, yet he did not sin.
Their questions were designed to trap the Lord into speaking against the Law!
2. THE DISCERNING OF THEIR THOUGHTS
“Jesus knew what they were thinking”
John 2:25 He did not need anyone to tell him what people were like: he understood human nature. [JBP]
3. THE DISCLOSURE OF THEIR MOTIVES
I Samuel 2:3 Nothing is hidden from the LORD,
and he judges what we do.” [CEV]
The motive of the Pharisees was not to heal the man, but to kill Jesus! That is why Jesus asked the question
“Is it lawful on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil? To save life, or to destroy it?”
III. THE POVERTY IN THE SYNAGOGUE
1. THE NEED OF THE MAN
and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
Tradition is that the man had been a ‘Stone Mason’ whose hand had been injured in an accident. Consequently he was unable to follow his occupation. He would now be dependent on others for help on many occasions.
2. THE NEED OF THE PHARISEES
their stubborn hearts
the AV speaks of ‘the hardness of their hearts’
When our hearts are hard, we do not have a concern for others. These men ‘used’ the disabled man to seek to trap Jesus. Their greatest need was to recognise who Jesus was – The Promised Christ – The Son of God.
3. THE NEED MET BY JESUS
“He said unto the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other”.
Only the need of the disabled man was met, because he responded to the Words of Jesus. The Pharisees were unwilling to recognise, or respond to Jesus.
IV. THE PERPLEXITY IN THE SYNAGOGUE
1. THE POWER OF JESUS
“Stretch out your hand.”
Psalm 107:20 He spoke, and they were healed—snatched from the door of death.
2. THE PLOTTING OF THE PHARISEES
“The Pharisees were furious, and went out, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, and plotted how they might destroy him.”
The Pharisees were willing to compromise and unite with their enemies against Jesus. The presence of Jesus was convicting them of sin.
3. THE WITHDRAWING OF JESUS
a. The Loss To The Pharisees
Jesus withdrew from that place
They lost the presence of the Lord through their unbelief. We must never presume upon the presence of the Lord. We should always appreciate it!
This is possibly one of the most tragic statements in the Bible. Jesus withdrew from that place. The reason for His withdrawing was that He was not wanted! How terrible!
Moses valued the Lord’s presence greatly, he said
Exodus 33:15 “If you aren’t going with us, please don’t make us leave this place. [CEV]
b. The Gain To The People
great multitudes followed him, and he healed all their sick.
What the Pharisees lost, the people gained; for they received healing from the Lord.
The same power was available to all – some spurned it – others received it.
Are we aware of the Lord’s presence in our gathering?
Remember the words of the Lord Jesus:
Matthew 18:20 Wherever two or three people have come together in my name, I am there, right among them!" [JBP]
Luke 5:17 the power of the Lord was present for him to heal the sick.
The Man with the Withered Hand
A Composite Reading
Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and a man with a shrivelled hand was there.
Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law watched him closely, and asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?” But Jesus knew what they were thinking, and he said to the man with the shrivelled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there.