“Another time Jesus went into the synagogue, and a man with a shriveled hand was there.2 Some of them were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath. 3 Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Stand up in front of everyone.” 4 Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. 5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.6 Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus.” Mark 3.1-6
Talk about missing the boat! These Pharisees were the high ranking Jewish religious leaders of the day. They were educated, pious and devout. They were Jews to the core, loved God and obeyed the Law of Moses. Yet, they failed to see Jesus for who he was — Messiah.
At a time when the world needed hope, these Jews were oblivious to Christ in there midst. They were in the Temple, watching a man’s life given back to him through the miraculous restoration of his hand, and all they can think about is how they might kill Jesus.
Surely one or two of them knew the truth. Certainly a few believed deep down in their heart that God was doing a new work in the person of Jesus Christ.
And speaking of Jesus, he became angry and “deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.” Imagine Jesus angry! It’s not a happy picture. His anger is a righteous anger, justified and legit. They did not believe even though they saw the miracle take place right in front of their eyes. It reminds my of what Jesus said in John 20.29, “Blessed are those who believe and do not see.”
But the Pharisees saw and disbelieved. They allowed evil, pride and jealous to rob their hearts of joy, grace and truth. And still today, too many Jews are waiting on Messiah to come and altogether have missed the gift of Jesus and his salvation.
Well at least there was one person in that crowd who appreciated the miracle – the man with the shriveled hand. His life had been dictated by having only one good hand. His work at been limited and the social stigma even to this day would have been hard to live with. He was given a new hand, a new hope and found a new appreciation for this young rabbi who restored his life.
Jesus wants to do a work of restoration in all of us. Whether it’s a physical ailment, a spiritual battle or emotional turmoil, Jesus is the Good Shepherd and the Great Physician of our souls. Will you allow him to bring healing to your house today?
“O Lord God, I certainly wish I had been there in the Temple to see this miracle. I pray I would have responded with faith and not doubt, with hope and not hatred. Thank you Jesus for healing us and saving our souls. Thank you for the decision you given each of us to say “yes” to you. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen