The man at the centre of this month's thought has not been given a name. Both Matthew and Mark refer to him, but no name is given. What we do know is that he had a withered hand. A hand that was of no use. It was shriveled up and incapable of anything useful.
Then both Matthew and Mark tell us that a remarkable thing happened. This man met the Man of God. Let Matthew (Ch 12) explain what happened...
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered.
13 Then saith He (Jesus) to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other.
We all know there is more to this story, in that the miracle was performed on the Sabbath in front of the Pharisees. But this is what we want to concentrate on...
that on Jesus' command, this man stretched what was not possible to stretch!
I dont know how many times I have read this passage but I am only now seeing a great truth that lies within. Although the miracle was all of Jesus, the man had to stretch a little!
If you do not know Jesus as your personal Saviour, is Jesus waiting for you to stretch a little? As a new year is upon us, what a great time to get yourself right with God.
It doesn't matter what shape your life is in, Jesus paid the price for your sins and mine on a cross at Calvary. He can heal you from all your sins, but you have to do your part. Acknowledge your sins before God, ask Him to forgive you and He will do it.
Or Christian, do you or I need to stretch our service to God a little more in the coming year?
Or have we allowed something to come in which has left a part of our life withered?
This word 'withered' reminds me about the fig tree in Matthew Ch 21...
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away.
If part of our service to Him has become 'withered', then the fruit we bear will be greatly diminished. Let us ask Jesus to take what is withered and renew it for His glory.
Jesus can take a dried up, withered and non functioning life and re-make it as it should be. As we start a new year, let us examine ourselves and see if we need to stretch ourselves a little more for His ultimate glory.
A very Happy New Year to you from all at Grove Baptist Church.
Are you SURE that you have your place booked in Heaven? Read this if you're not!