Withered-Hand Faith

When studying the Bible, I recommend using good tools such as a study Bible or commentary. With these tools, you can often learn helpful information that isn’t common knowledge to help you understand what you are reading. Other times, these tools will offer key insights. While studying for these devotions, I ran across one of these helpful insights in The Bible Exposition Commentary. 

Jesus is faced with the opportunity to heal a man with a withered hand on the Sabbath. He knew the Pharisees would not be happy, but their disapproval wouldn’t keep Him from obeying His Father. This is how the scene unfolds: 

And after looking around at them all (religious leaders) he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:10-11)

The passage is straightforward; and if you are accustomed to reading the Bible, Jesus’ ability to heal probably isn’t a surprise. But here was the insight from the commentary. Jesus commanded the man to do the very thing he couldn’t do. “Stretch out your hand” isn’t just a command to heal; it is a call to faith for that man. He had to believe Jesus’ words had authority to heal and then act on that belief. His act of faith was the evidence of Jesus’ healing. I guess we could call this “withered-hand faith.”

Many times, God’s call to faith in our own lives follows a similar pattern. He commands or calls us to a specific direction but the evidence of His activity may not come until after we obey in faith. Peter had to throw out his nets in faith, trusting Jesus had authority over the fish. (Luke 5:5) Jesus tells the paralyzed man “Rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” (Luke 5:24) In each case, the men were powerless apart from the grace and authority of Jesus, yet they responded in faith. In their response, Jesus was proven faithful.

How is God calling you to withered-hand faith? This would be something God is calling you to, yet you are powerless to accomplish it on your own. His work is the only chance of success, but you won’t see the evidence of His activity until you obey in faith. Having been there many times, it can be a scary place. Yet every time, He is faithful. Stretch out your hand, He won’t let go.

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.






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