In today’s passage when Jesus says to the man stretch out your hand, that withered hand was restored.
1. The significance of the hand in the bible
God gave authority to rule in the hand of mankind. In Genesis 9:1-2, to Noah: “they are given into your hand”. In Genesis 39:1-4, to Joseph: “the Lord made all he did to prosper in his hand…Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority.” God’s authority is given into the hands of His chosen people. The hand expresses one’s thoughts and actions.
The hand represents the entire person, our work, our duty, the conditions of our hearts, our ability and power. As fallen mankind, our hands curl up to hide something, our hands are often withered up. Jesus’ hand was stretched out on the cross to give us and provide us blessings and salvation. May we hear the voice of Jesus today: Stretch out your hand. The man didn’t know he was able to stretch out his hand. But at the command of Jesus, he stretched out his hand and everything was healed.
2. In order to receive the blessing of stretched out hand, what needs to happen?
(1) We need to repent of the works of our hands
In Genesis 3:22 Spiritually man was banned from stretching out his hand to the Tree of Life, that was the curse. I believe what Jesus says to this man is to us today: You may now stretch out your hand. Pray that we may stretch out our hand towards Jesus, who is the true Tree of Life, given to us today.
And he called his name Noah, saying, “This one will comfort us concerning our work and the toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD has cursed.” (Gen 5:29). May our hands become the hands of blessing now in year 2020, so that everything we touch and everything we use our hands to do, will be restored and blessed. Revelation 9:13-21 tells of the angel blowing the 6th trumpet during judgment. In the end times, during Judgment, we have to repent of the sinful works we have committed with our hands; and lift up those hands to God (Lam 3:40-41, Jas 4:8).
(2) We need to become the hand of power through obedience
In the Exodus, God uses Moses’ hands to perform the miracle of the 10 plagues. God gave the staff to Moses’ hand and God said, take this staff in your hand, and the Red Sea parted. That rod represents the Word of God. That staff represents Jesus Christ. When the Word is given into our hand, when you hold onto the staff the Lord Jesus Christ, our hand will be given the power to do salvation work.
More powerful than the hand that does miracles, the hand that can destroy and kills, is the hand that gives life. Pray that our hand through obedience when we follow the Word of God, is given the power of life. For that power to come into our hand, Jesus needs to hold our hands first. Pray: Jesus please hold my hand year 2020 just as He held Peter’s mother-in-law’s hand, the hands pf the girl and boy who were dead in Matthew 8:14-15; 9:23-26, Mark 9:14-27 and they were restored. And in Acts 3:1-10; 9:36-42, Peter reached out his hand and lifted the lame man, and Dorcas who was dead and healed them. It doesn’t matter how weak and discouraged we may be in the past. Like Peter who experienced the hand of Jesus, let us now take hold of other people’s hands and raise them up. May our hand be like the hand of Moses and Peter, that will give salvation to many other people.
(3) We need to become the hands that do good deeds
In the parable of the good Samaritan, all the other passers-by do not want to help the poor, but this good Samaritan used his hand to help the poor. Jesus came to save those who are in need. We are here because Jesus reached out to our hands. May we likewise now use our hands to reach out to our neighbours, at least to the northern side of Singapore, to the needy, with the gospel (Prov 3:2; 10:4; 31:20, 31).
(4) We need to become the hands of evangelism
2 Timothy 4:1-5 tells us we need to preach and teach the word, in season and out of season. We need to be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill our ministry. Lot was hesitating when leaving Sodom and Gomorrah, and the angels grabbed hold of his hand and pulled him out to safety (Gen19:16). May we likewise hold the hands of our family members and pull them to salvation in church, so they can escape the fire of hell and judgment. Romans 8:34 tells us it is the Father’s spirit who raised Jesus. Let us sincerely pray: Father I lift up my soul, my life into your hands. So that even if hardships come, our Father’s spirit will raise us up, keep us going and give us victory in all our spiritual battles.
3. Finally what are the blessings that God gives us?
(1) Genesis 9:2, power to rule over all creation, and all will be in fear and dread of you.
(2) Genesis 14:20, may our enemy Satan the devil be delivered into our hands. Number 21:34, Deuteronomy 2:24, Joshua 2:24
(3) Ezekiel 8:3, God’s hand will lift us up to show us heavenly things, so that we can have a vision, the right purpose, a proper goal in our life.
(4) Isaiah 49:14-17, God will not forget us, and He has inscribed us on the palms of His hands. When we are in God’s hands, what we do with our hands is what God is doing.
May this blessing be given to all who are worshipping at Zion Church, and all of our family members. ~AMEN.