Summary: Besides that withered hand being a physical handicap, that old withered, shriveled up hand is a type of mankind. Man, in spite of our education, ability, talents, all our 6,000 years of development...we’re still a withered creation because of the fall.
THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND
MARK 3:1 6
As we look at this story of the man with the shriveled hand, Jesus had just entered the city of Capernaum. He’d been run out of His hometown of Nazareth. The great religious leaders of that town had taken Him up to the brow of the hill and would have killed Him if He hadn’t exerted His power and walked through the crowd.
So now he comes to Capernaum, which is a city where thousands of people are assembled, many who had come to see Him. At this time in history the city was inhabited by thousands of people, and now with the arrival of Jesus it was so crowded that He couldn’t eat, couldn’t rest...the people would just fill the streets, especially after the Sabbath
They were coming from Jerusalem, from all over Judea, from Tyre and Sidon, from all over to bring their sick, lame, deaf, blind, crippled and diseased. And they would wait for days just to see Him.
This particular incident, like so many others took place on the Sabbath...when the activities of Jews were very limited. So Jesus comes in to the synagogue...and He’s not a welcomed guest...they don’t want Him there. The priests, the religious rulers are not happy that He’s there because He had a way of upsetting their order of events.
He upset their religion, He upset everything that was going on because the moment He walks in the people realize He’s not just another ordinary man....He’s not just another good teacher. There’s something radically different about this young Nazarene.
He’s the one who does that (snap of fingers) and blinded eyes open....this is the one who speaks and the dead come to life...this is the one that touches the tongue of the dumb and the man can speak...this is the one that instantly heals the open sores of leper by the power of Almighty God. Hallelujah!! This is the Sea walker...the blind man healer...the leper cleansing man from Galilee!! This is the one!!! And He’s still the One!!!!
There’s a man there who’s got a withered, shriveled up hand...shriveled in the Greek means atrophied...wasted away or withered. The hand in Jewish idiom covered all the way up to the elbow...and this hand had shriveled up to where it was unusable...about half the size of the other...just a dead piece of flesh.
And they’re all standing around there staring at him...wondering what He would do. Remember it’s the Sabbath and He’s not supposed to heal on the Sabbath.
But let me tell you, besides being a physical handicap, that old withered, shriveled up hand is a type of mankind. Man, in spite of our education, ability, talents, all our 6,000 years of development...we’re still a withered creation because of the fall.
We are shriveled in our soul...in our heart...in our mind...in our spirit... But we don’t like to admit that. But when Jesus looks at these people there in the synagogue, He knows their mind...He reads their thoughts...He knows their hearts.
And before He addresses that man with the shriveled hand He looks around at those religious men with anger...and this was visible anger. He grew extremely angry. The Greek indicated the type of anger that would make your face almost whiten.
Contrary to Hollywood’s versions, Jesus was an emotional person...and He expressed those emotions frequently. He got sad, tired, weary, joyful, hopeful, impatient...and His impatience was often aimed at His disciples, because of their lack of learning or faith.
He didn’t sin in His anger, but nonetheless He was fired up. Anger is not wrong if it’s kept in check. And at times not to be angry is wrong. And one of the problems we have in the Christian world today is that nothing angers us anymore. At least not the right things.
We see evil...we see people going to hell by the millions...we see Satan wreaking havoc all around us and we sit idly by. We’ve become so desensitized to sin that it’s no wonder we’re in the pitiful condition we’re in as a nation and as a world. We need to get angry!
He did it then just like He’s doing it right now...Jesus knows your thoughts this very moment. Jesus looked at them and said, "You’ve got your old laws that say if such and such happens it’s a sin...But then he said, "I tell you that if you think it in your heart, you’ve already done it." (Adultery...murder...etc)
He knows your mind...He knows your heart. He knew their thoughts, and He asked the question (Matthew 12) that is the question that is paramount today in society. "Is not a man better than a sheep?"
Jesus said, "You would pick up a lamb that’s fallen into a hole on the Sabbath would you not? Moses law makes allowance for that. If an ox falls in the ditch you’ll get it out on the Sabbath. Isn’t a man worth more than a sheep? That’s the battle raging today in this secular world.