On another Sabbath He entered the synagogue and was teaching; and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching Him closely to see if He healed on the Sabbath, so that they might find reason to accuse Him. But He knew what they were thinking, and He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and come forward!' And he got up and came forward. And Jesus said to them, 'I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to destroy it?' After looking around at them all, He said to him, 'Stretch out your hand!' And he did so; and his hand was restored. But they themselves were filled with rage, and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Whether through birth or a tough accident, the man with a withered hand suffered loss. We're not given the details of his life, or the consequences he may have faced, bearing a useless and disfigured hand. Perhaps he used to be a carpenter. Perhaps his future wife rejected him.
But from his interaction with Jesus, features of his character are revealed:
1) Since Jesus met the man at the temple, since Jesus like to heal people with faith, we see the injured man still worshipped God. By his actions, he displayed faith and hope.
2) Since leading Jews sought to accuse Jesus and standing at His request showed support, the injured man revealed his allegiance, knowing the Jews might seek to harm him, too.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: How you choose to handle injuries (whether your own or those of others) reveals features of your
1) If you are the one who is injured, don't allow yourself to grow bitter. If you keep your faith and hope in God, you witness His grace under pressure.Example
: Inky Johnson has a withered hand. Although Jesus hasn't healed it yet, if you click on this short video, you'll see valor that might change your life.*
2) If you can help an injured person and/or become a meaningful friend, your life will be enriched by his gifts, and he'll be uplifted by friendship.Example
: Joni Eareckson Tada's life rocks. Hit by a most dreadful injury, she is totally famous for God. This video might change your life, too.**
To Be Continued...
* One of the most inspiring short videos I've ever watched: https://www.facebook.com/recruitstatus/videos/1752846194927005/
* Inky's Johnson's FB page: https://www.facebook.com/inky29?hc_location=ufi
** Another incredibly inspiring video by an injured woman who has become a media giant for God. In it, Joni sings a song that was initially nominated for an Academy Award, but the nomination was rescinded for a technicality. The Academy's loss is the Lord's gain. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BWVyVMbSzM4
** Moving narrative by Joni Eareckson Tada: Why Do God's Children Suffer? https://answersingenesis.org/who-is-god/god-is-good/why-do-gods-children-suffer/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Suffering series.