Experiencing Jesus: The Man with a Shriveled Hand
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.Mark 3:5 NIV
When Jesus healed this man with a deformed, shriveled hand, his hand was completely restored.
Such a powerful phrase! Completely restored.
That’s the longing of our hearts. We’re desperate for the broken, damaged, wounded areas of our life to be completely restored.
- Our broken relationships. Completely restored.
- Our broken spirits. Completely restored.
- Our broken character. Completely restored.
- Our broken finances. Completely restored.
- Our broken dreams. Completely restored.
- Our broken hearts. Completely restored.
That’s the hope of heaven. That’s the hope of what Jesus can do in our lives. One day, totally, completely restored.
But what about today? What about those areas of our lives that are shriveled up, withering away, broken and useless? While I’m grateful for the hope of heaven, what about hope for today? Isn’t that what the world needs?
Jesus didn’t completely restore every aspect of this man’s life. His relationships, his career, his reputation, the rest of his body. No. Just his shriveled hand.
Sometimes Jesus will bring restoration to a broken area of our life. While we celebrate that, it’s not complete restoration in every area of our life.
I have to wonder, though, what the “domino effect” of this miracle was in the man’s life. Yes, Jesus only restored his shriveled hand, but what did this do for the man’s faith in God. I’m certain his faith soared. It stands to reason that he now believed he was loved by God, that God had a purpose for his life, and that God would work in his life to accomplish that purpose. Others might have viewed his disability as a reflection of his standing with God, that perhaps he had sinned in some way to deserve this malady. Now with his hand restored, his countenance would be lifted, his confidence renewed, his reputation improved.
He might have just been restored in this one area, a shriveled hand, but the impact of that experience with Jesus would transform the whole of his life.
The one place where I can be certain I am completely restored today is in my relationship to the Father. Jesus has done that. He has provided for that. I was alienated from the Father, separated by my sin. But Christ’s death has removed the stain of my sin and brought me near. I am now in Christ. I am now adopted by the Father. I am secure in His love, His forgiveness, His acceptance.
Spiritually. Eternally. Completely restored.
When they heard about all he was doing, many people came to him from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, and the regions across the Jordan and around Tyre and Sidon.Mark 3:8 NIV
People came from everywhere to see Jesus. The restoration He offered drew them.
What draws people to Jesus today? Obviously, the Holy Spirit draws them, convicting them of their need for a Savior. But what makes them aware of their need?
It’s still true today. Broken people, longing for restoration in one way or another, recognize their need and are drawn to Jesus.
Does my life reflect that Jesus is the one who can completely restore? “When they heard about what He was doing.” Someone told them about Jesus. That person was credible. They themselves had experienced restoration, or they had witnessed it in someone else’s life.
They were a credible witness.
What makes me a credible witness? The restoration I’ve experienced inside shows up on my face. And in my hands. I am joy filled, peace filled, and loving. Who I am, how I carry myself, reflects well on Jesus.
“…so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.”Titus 2:10b NIV
Completely restored. Certain of my position in Christ. A credible witness. Attractive, drawing others to Jesus, that they may have the same profound, life-changing, destiny-altering experience with Jesus that I have had.
In what broken areas of your life, of this world, is Jesus inviting you to experience Him today? And what will the domino effect of that restoration be in your life and on those around you when Jesus does show up and say, “Stretch out your hand?”