THE SABBATH DAY HEALINGS OF JESUS OF NAZARETH (Continued)
HEALING OF THE MAN WITH THE WITHERED HAND
After reading the account of the healing of the man with the withered hand in Matthew, Mark and Luke, some distinctions are noted particularly in Jesus’ instructions to the man. In Matthew’s account, "Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other." It is unclear from Matthew what hand is withered, but it is very clear that at the command of Jesus, the hand was wholly restored as the other.
In Mark, it states, " And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. Notice that the command to stand forth is included because as the Sacrifice, Jesus was putting the man upright first and then He took care of the ailment. The ailment, the withered hand. Generally, hand speaks to service. It also speaks to the inability to be consecrated or set apart for God’s purpose because the Hebrew word to consecrate means to fill the hands. Withered means dry, or to waste or pine away. How can one be fully set apart for God’s holy purpose with a withered hand?
Further, Mark gives the only account of Jesus’ anger at the hardness of the hearts of those in the synagogue. Despite His anger in righteousness he doth judge and make war (Revelation 19:11). As the Sacrifice, He positioned the man (a picture of His Body) in a position of right standing by commanding him to stand forth. To stand means to arouse or cause to rise up. It also means to awake out of sleep. The Christ was doing so much more in the Spirit than seen outwardly. In one transaction, He awakened this man out of spiritual death, consecrated Him for God’s purpose and glorified God.
Luke’s Gospel tells us what hand was affected. "…there was a man whose right hand was withered." The man’s right hand was withered. The right hand as opposed to the left speaks of power. For example, Exodus 15:6 reads, "Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy." By this same Power, Jesus made us kings and priests through His shed Blood. According to Exodus 29, the thumb of the right hand was a point of anointing for the priests. Leviticus 21:16-24 outlines the qualifications for the priesthood and any blemish disqualified one for service. Jesus’ works as Lord of the Sabbath proved that the Sabbath was made for man and that it is most "lawful" to do good deeds on the Sabbath day.
Luke is also distinguished by what Jesus said to the man. Jesus, "said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth." Rise up! To rise up means more than going from a seated or lying to a standing position physically. It speaks to resurrection life in Christ Jesus where the law of the spirit of life in Him raises one high above the rudiments of the world and all its bondage. It is the place where all things have become new. It is a place where the Son has set one free indeed.
Did you notice that in every account, Jesus simply spoke to the man, he obeyed and was healed? Are we listening for His Voice today regarding spiritual or physical situations that are not commensurate with the priestly office He has endued us with through His Blood? Stated another way, are we tolerating anything in the Body that disagrees with the accomplished Word of God? More importantly, are we obeying His Word all of Which He expressed and fulfilled in His earthly ministry? Stretch forth thy hand today assured that it is made whole and serve God in power and demonstration of the Spirit as He wills.