Stretch Out Your Hand

stretching out your hand to Jesus

Stretching Out Your Hand To Jesus

Mark 3:1-6

And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him.

  • What does it say
  • Jesus comes into the synagogue, finds a man with a withered hand, and again the Pharisees watch him to accuse him. Jesus doesn’t care- Tells the guy to step forward, tells the Pharisees that doing good is best. Jesus gets worked up about these Pharisees who can’t see it- Doing good is good! Jesus heals the guy and then  the Pharisees go out and start to plot against him to destroy him.
  • Here’s the deal- You have got to be obedient to God regardless of what the people around you may do or say.  Sadly, the people closest to you will usually be the ones that will do what they can to discourage away from being obedient to what God is calling you to do.
  • Stretch out your hand- be obedient. Do good.
  • Jesus knew that healing the Sabbath was acceptable- because he was God, but also because he knew that doing good on the Sabbath is better than doing evil regardless of what the detractors may have said
  1. “watched him closely”
  • And He entered the synagogue again, and a man was there who had a withered hand. So they watched Him closely, whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. 
  • At this point in Jesus ministry, the amount of detractors was growing alongside the followers. There were many people who did not like Jesus, and wanted to see him destroyed.
  • So as Jesus would go doing ministry, many would look for reasons to accuse him of wrongdoing
  • They were afraid of losing power. They didn’t believe him to be messiah. They wanted him destroyed- so they “watched him closely” simply to be able to have ammo against him
  • Jesus was being obedient to the father and what the father told him to do
  • 1 John 3:8b For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.
  • Jesus came to destroy that which the Devil had done- enmity between God and man- and Jesus was going to do whatever he could to destroy it, so we could have relationship with God
  • What does it mean to you
  • Whenever you’re doing things that God has asked you to do, you are going to have people that will be watching you closely to attack you, discourage you, argue with you and eventually destroy you
  • Now- I understand that there are no Pharisees that are watching you heal on the Sabbath- but what you DO have is people that think they know God- who don’t know God- that are waiting to attack you
  • The Bible talks about wicked people-Proverbs 6: 12-14 A worthless person, a wicked man, Walks with a perverse mouth; 13 He winks with his eyes, He shuffles his feet, He points with his fingers; 14 Perversity is in his heart, He devises evil continually,He sows discord.
  • I’m sure you know someone like this-
  • As soon as you decide that you’re going to be obedient to what God has asked you do, the detractors come out of the woodwork to try and discourage you
  • Don’t rearrange your schedule, Don’t realign your finances, Don’t stop doing the sin that we’re doing together- And then they WATCH CLOSELY- Waiting for that moment for you to fail so they can attack
  1. Be Obedient
  • And He said to the man who had the withered hand, “Step forward.” Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. 
  • As these men are watching Jesus closely- Jesus continues be obedient and do what he knows is right- healing people is good. He is supposed to be doing
  • Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
  • What did you think? Jesus was going to be swayed by a detractor who doesn’t even know God or his word? Or was he going to continue to do what he knows is right and he is supposed to do? He’s going to be obedient to the father
  • I actually like the way the Message Bible says this verse- John 14:31 MSG But so the world might know how thoroughly I love the Father, I am carrying out my Father’s instructions right down to the last detail.
  • Jesus is carrying out the will of the father to the last detail
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Are you carrying out your father’s instructions right down to the last detail?
  • Jesus tells this guy with the withered hand- “step forward” and he DOES IT
  • Think about it- What if Jesus was disobedient to what the father had asked him? Where would we be?
  • Stuck in a pit full of hell and damnation is where we’d be that’s where
  • Be obedient to God no matter what other people may say or do-
  • Its deceptive- it happens frequently- someone else isn’t being obedient so we feel as though we don’t have to
  • When I was in HS- Wrestling team- 7 mile runs- You could fall behind, hide and walk back- guys did it
  • But the OBEDIENT- Did what the coach told them to do- because they knew it would HELP them
  • John 14:15 15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.
  • Acts 5:29 But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.
  • Isaiah 1:19  If you are willing and obedient, You shall eat the good of the land;
  • Be obedient to what God tells you to do. Be obedient to his word.
  • You don’t have to understand it. Agree with it. Or like it. Be obedient
  • Some would say- You’re telling people to suspend their thinking Pastor, and I am! Exactly what I’m doing-
  • Because here’s what happens- you cant talk yourself into anything if you think long enough and twist it far enough- Its much easier to be obedient and let God sort out the details
  • Watch the Olympics- Every Olympian has a COACH who tells them what to do
  • Here’s what happens when you’re against God-
  • “Looked around them with anger”
  • And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts
  • Jesus here is looking at the people in the synagogue and is literally sad and angry that their hearts have turned so cold against this man who is infirmed
  • Part of this is that this man with the withered hand was more than likely one of the members of the synagogue, and his fellow members aren’t even concerned with the fact he’s infirmed- they are more concerned with the keeping of the Sabbath
  • Just previously, Jesus had spoken to them about the Sabbath, and you would think that they would have understood it by now, but they apparently don’t.
  • Jesus was angry- properly desire (as a reaching forth or excitement of the mind), that is, (by analogy) violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence); by implication punishment: – anger, indignation, vengeance, wrath.
  • This is a point that I often try to make to people that people don’t seem to get- Jesus got angry. There were things and are things that make Jesus angry
  • Matthew 23 the scribes and Pharisees he said “15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.”
  • Did you catch that? “twice as much a son of hell as yourselves”
  • He also called them whitewashed tombs and said “33 Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?” His ANGER was that they were asking people to do what they weren’t doing
  • John 2: 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple,
  • Also- John 2:  17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written,“Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
  • Jesus got angry- that’s clear- but when he got angry is was for the benefit of GOD and his ways, not his own personal vindictive campaign to justify his anger
  • What do I get angry about? Usually things that have more to do with my own feelings, perceptions, wants and needs and not God’s white hot wrath
  • Guy pulled up to me in traffic in Auburn- Got in my face- did nothing- drove away- Still angry now- but nothing to do with God or Jesus- its my own need for self gratification
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Here’s the deal about Jesus anger- and if you can stay within in these confines, get angry with Jesus
  • Get angry about hardened hearts, Get angry about people treating kids poorly, Get angry about people not honoring God’s house, Get angry at hypocrisy and then GRIEVE about it- Actually have it affect your heart- not just lip service to feel more self righteous
    Ephesians 4:26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,
  • Don’t make Jesus angry- If its within the realm of possibilities for Jesus to get angry at these guys- its possible for Jesus to get angry at you
  • I understand that’s not the most encouraging words- but lets think about it- why is Jesus angry in this scripture?
  • Because these guys hearts have become hardened to the heart of God and his ways
  • Has your heart become hard? Do you no longer care about the lost? Do you no longer long to be in his presence? Do you no longer have joy in giving and serving? Reading your word?
  • Take a sermon for example- a Sermon can not be about you- but for someone else- but you can’t sit for 40 mins and let someone else be ministered to

What to do?

4.“Stretch out your hand”

  • If you do anything- always be obedient to what Jesus tells you to do- if he tells you to stretch out your hand- stretch out that hand
  • V5 He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored as whole as the other. 
  • Notice- this man was not swayed by those around him who did not agree that he should be receiving the blessing that he was receiving.
  • He’s like- I don’t know about you guys- I don’t care about what you think- if stretching out my hand is going to restore me- I’m doing what Jesus says
  • What happens? “hand restored” HIS HAND IS RESTORED because of his OBEDIENCE
  • Lets not miss this- a man who needed something  fixed by Jesus- it CHANGED HIS LIFE
  • Can you imagine what the next day must have been like for that guy? Pull ups and push ups
  • READ Romans 2:6-11
  • What does it mean to you? STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND
  • God has told you to stretch out your hand in an area of your life- and for whatever reason you’re being disobedient to what he’s asked- and you’re not experiencing restoration
  • Stretch out your hand- He will forgive you and restore you
  • Stretch out your hand- He will restore that relationship
  • Stretch out your hand- He will give you the courage
  • Stretch out your hand- He will fix what you broke
  • Stretch out your hand- He will restore the joy of your salvation
  • Peter had to get out of the boat to walk on water-the least you can do is stretch out your hand
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