stretch out your hand

Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that He entered the synagogue and taught. And a man was there whose right hand was withered. So the scribes and Pharisees watched Him closely, whether He would heal on the Sabbath, that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and said to the man who had the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And he arose and stood. Then Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?” And when He had looked around at them all, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored as whole as the other.”
(Luke 6:6-10)

Unearthed, from the simple soil of “and he did so,” we see the response of faith to the command of Christ, “stretch out your hand,” as J.C. Ryle, once again, offers depth of insight into this commerce between Jesus and this man:

Our Lord said…”Stretch out your hand.” The command, at first sight seems unreasonable…obedience impossible…the poor sufferer was not stopped by doubts…at once he made the attempt to stretch forth his hand and…was cured. He had enough faith to believe that He who bade him…was not mocking him
and ought to be obeyed.

He who bids us to…
…fear not
…cast our cares on Him
…not be anxious
…seek ye first
…consider the lilies
is not mocking us
ought to be obeyed.

LORD, help me live in obedience to and dependence upon You. Let me not hesitate to “stretch out my hand” in response to Your commands. The tasks you set before me are often enormous and my strength little. I must depend on Your kindness and mercy. Forgive my lack of obedience to Your commands, my willful transgressions of Your Law. I do indeed bring only my sin and need to You when I come to Your throne–no goodness, nor merit, no wisdom, no strength. Yet countless times, by Your grace, You send me out to serve You cleansed, restored, and strengthened. Let me never forget Your benefits towards me, those benefits already received and those promised for my future need.

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