“Stretch out your hand.” – NIV
A man with a withered hand had come to the synagogue. We’ll never know – this side of heave – how this man’s injury had affected his relationship with God. We are left wondering, was he angry? Disillusioned? Content in the midst of his suffering? As with so many aspects of scripture, we can only guess.
What we do know, however, is that he was in the local place of worship on the regular day of worship. What we do know, is that this is where Jesus met him.
It is so odd to me how little Jesus asks of the man with the withered hand. His purpose was to create a stage for Himself in front of the unbelieving Pharisees, but this time, He doesn’t wait for a demonstration of faith as He had in other situations. In fact, He doesn’t even wait for the man to approach Him. Jesus singles out the recipient of His mercy and gives him only one instruction: “Stretch out your hand.”
Could it be that, sometimes, we simply demand too much of ourselves? We expect that Jesus needs this great demonstration of how much we love and adore Him before He will even turn His ear to our needs. There is no way that all we have to do is reach out, this just can’t be the case.
I suppose it is hard to recognize that fallenness is all we ever really have, and in His mercy, it’s all He ever asks of us.