A Man with a Withered Hand
6 On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. 7 And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him.8 But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. 9 And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?”10 And after looking around at them all he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. 11 But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. (ESV)
Bethel, a city once known for its commitment to the Lord, had become wicked. The king, Jeroboam, erected idols and engaged in pagan worship. Despite his evil ways, he knew the power of God, and experienced it firsthand – when his own hand was afflicted as he tried to keep God’s power from splitting an idolatrous altar in half. A man of God was on the scene, and Jeroboam pleaded with him to intercede on his behalf for healing. The prophet did, and Jeroboam’s hand was restored.
“And the king said to the man of God, ‘Entreat now the favor of the Lord your God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored to me (1 Kings 13:6),’”
In Luke, Jesus sees a man with a withered hand outside the synagogue. Even without any account that he asked for healing, nor any intercession by His disciples, Jesus had compassion on the man, healing him…much to the irritation of the ever-present Pharisees.
The compassion of the Lord is available to everyone, and He heals whom He will. Nonetheless, it could be your responsibility today to intercede on behalf of someone – even someone on our prayer list, or someone you know – who needs that touch, that abundant grace. Won’t you bring a compassionate concern before God today?