Stretch Forth Thy Hand!
Free online resources based on Jesus healing the man with the withered hand. This miracle can be found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. See below for links to sermons, stories and entertaining sites for this important story.
Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. — Luke 6:9-10 <KJV>
Jesus Restores A Man’s Withered Hand Miracle – Summary
The religious leaders observed Jesus’ disciples picking and eating corn on the Sabbath as they walked through the field. In their mind, this was a sin, and they were quick to point this out to Jesus.
Jesus reminded them of David taking the shewbread from the House of God, eating it and sharing with those that were with him. And then he said,
“The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”
This set the stage for the next Sabbath. The religious leaders knew Jesus had a reputation for healing people. In their midst was a man with a withered hand. They stood around the Synagogue watching to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, so they could accuse him. Jesus was well aware of what they intended. So in the presence of the religious leaders, and all in attendance, Jesus said to the man with the withered hand,
“Stand before us!”
With everyone’s eyes focused on him, Jesus gave the religious leaders another opportunity to examine their thoughts.
“Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”
It was an excellent question that remained unanswered. The religious leaders did not say a word. Disappointed, Jesus turned his attention to the man with the withered hand and said,
“Stretch out your hand!”
The man heard the Word, believed it, acted on it, and his hand was completely restored.
And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him. — Mark 3:6 <KJV>
All three Gospels record that the religious leaders began plotting to destroy Jesus. Religious zeal had blinded them to God’s Goodness and Glory in their presence. Their long awaited King, the promised Messiah, was in their midst, but they did not know him. Consider this, the religious leaders were willing to break multiple commandments, murder, false testimony, and not loving God with all their heart, simply because Jesus healed on the Sabbath. How crazy is that? Religion is one of Satan’s best weapons because it takes your focus off of God’s Truth (His Word and the Holy Spirit), and places it on the works and reasoning of man. Love is replaced by selfishness and pride. The enemy’s deception is only viable in the realm of the flesh. It is easily dismissed by the Believer walking in the Spirit, and armed with God’s Word. As Jesus told the woman at the well, God is a Spirit. And they that worship Him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Be led by the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Believe God’s Word and you will not succumb to Satan’s temptation or his fiery darts. Answer the enemy the same way Jesus did, “It is written…” (Matthew 4:1-11, John 4:19-26, Romans 8:1-17, Galatians 5:13-25, Ephesians 6:10-18, Colossians 2:4-15, 1 Peter 5:8-11)
But He said to them, What man is there among you, if he has only one sheep and it falls into a pit or ditch on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? How much better and of more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful and allowable to do good on the Sabbath days. — Matthew 12:11-12 <AMP>
Jesus was exposing religious hypocrisy. They would not hesitate to rescue one of their animals, their property, but would quickly condemn anyone healing someone who was sick on the Sabbath. This violates God’s highest Law – the Law of Love. Man was not made to be a servant of the Sabbath. The Sabbath, the day of worship and rest, was made for man. Meaning God loves mankind. He did not put any religious tradition above man. All three Gospels note that the religious leaders were eagerly looking to be offended. Whether it was religious pride, fear, or simply ignorance of God’s Word, something was preventing them from recognizing their Savior. If they truly loved God, they would not have been offended. Love looks for the very best in people and expects it. Love is patient, kind, and forgives. Love never fails, because God IS Love. (Deuteronomy 6:1-6, Matthew 22:34-40, Luke 10:25-28, Romans 13:8-10, 1 Corinthians 13:1-13, 1 John 4:7-21)
Had Jesus healed him the next day, the religious folks would likely have found something else offensive about Jesus, like the disciples eating corn. Besides, like the woman bowed by Satan, this was a son of Abraham, he should not have to wait another day to be healed. It was for this very purpose that Jesus came – to destroy the works of Satan. (1 John 3:7-18)
The religious leaders had a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. They knew all the right things to do, but they did not really believe like Abraham. They could perform the sacrifices and keep the traditions, but they had no love of, or faith in God. They could have ministered to this individual, prayed for him, reminded him of God’s promises. They could have learned from Jesus and praised God for the man’s deliverance. Instead, they plotted against Jesus. Nothing blinds people to the Truth more than religion. Faith in God, a confidence in His Word, is more important than any religious activity. Without faith, it is impossible to please Him. (Genesis 15:1-6, Hosea 6:6, Matthew 9:10-13, Romans 4:1-8, 10:1-4, Galatians 3:1-29, Hebrews 11:1-6)
And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus. — Luke 6:7-11 <KJV>
Jesus was searching for faith, for ways to show compassion. The religious leaders were seeking an opportunity to accuse him. What about your life? Are you seeking ways to be a blessing to others, or opportunities to condemn? Follow the example of Jesus and look for ways to demonstrate God’s Love. You may be the only opportunity someone ever has to experience God’s Love. Let your light shine. (Matthew 5:14-16, John 15:1-10, 2 Corinthians 9:6-15, 1 Peter 2:12, 1 John 3:14-24)
Its almost comical that Jesus asks if it is lawful to do good or evil on the Sabbath. And note, no answer is recorded. They knew the answer, but they would be condemned by an honest response. Jesus looked around the room to see if anyone would respond. Since nobody did, he turned his attention back to the man.
Very little is said about the man with the withered hand. If this was the result of injury, or a permanent disability, we are not told. However at that time, it was a major liability to be disabled, as one’s very survival often depended on physical labor. The cause really did not matter because its the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy. The man was limited both physically, spiritually, and likely emotionally as well. Jesus came to make mankind whole. There was no pity in his voice. Jesus positioned the man so that all could see. He spoke Words of Life, God’s Truth, to the man. The man knew he was disabled, so Jesus was addressing the man’s heart, telling him to stretch out his hand. In the flesh, this was impossible. But with God nothing is impossible. Jesus’ words resonated in the man’s spirit. He believed them and acted on them. And he was made whole. (Matthew 17:20, Mark 11:21-24, John 10:10, Romans 8:10-11, 1 Peter 2:24)
In the presence of his disciples, Jesus cursed the fig tree and it withered from the roots up. He spoke The Blessing to the man, and he was made whole from the inside out to his hand. You can speak words of Blessing or cursing, Life or death. You are the prophet over your life, and can impact your family, friends, and nation. God told the children of Israel that He set before them life and death, blessing and cursing, and just in case they could not figure out which was better, He told them to choose LIFE! Jesus came to give you life in abundance, to the full, until it overflows. This comes from speaking God’s Words and believing His Word in your heart. Life and death are in the power of YOUR tongue. (Deuteronomy 30:10-20, Joshua 1:1-9, Psalm 119:1-176, Proverbs 18:21, Mark 11:22-24, John 6:63-68, 10:10,
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: — Romans 8:10-16 <KJV>
Jesus ministry was limited while he was on the Earth. Now that he is glorified, and the Holy Spirit given to Believers, there are no limits. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead, gives LIFE to your mortal body. You are no longer in bondage to fear, or even religion. You are part of the Body of Christ. You have been made alive in Christ, and are a joint-heir with him. Your standing is secure as a child of God. Feed on God’s Word, build your faith, and enjoy victory in every area of your life! (John 14:1-31, 17:1-26, Romans 8:1-17, Ephesians 1:1-12, 2:1-10, 2 Timothy 3:14-17, Hebrews 2:5-18, 1 Peter 2:1-3)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). — John 10:10 <AMP>
Read the story in five popular translations – AMP, KJV, HCSB, NIV, The Message:
Jesus Heals A Crippled Hand – A children’s lesson based on Luke 6:6-11
Jesus Heals A Withered Hand – A lesson outline based on Luke 6:6-11
Jesus Heals On The Sabbath – Preschool Bible lesson Mark based on 3:1-8
Jesus Heals A Man With A Withered Hand – A coloring page
Jesus Heals A Crippled Hand – Activity pages and lesson
Jesus Heals A Man’s Hand – Activity pages
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