Lessons Of A Lifetime


Scripture To Consider:
“Now it happened on another Sabbath, also, that Jesus 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 Jesus 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 Jesus 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. But they [the religious leaders] were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do with Jesus.” Luke 6.6-11

Something To Consider:
As was customary of Jesus, He was found in a place of worship on the day of worship. As was His custom He was also found teaching. Again, we are not told what Jesus taught, though He employed a technique so often used in His teaching. He was about to present a real-life object lesson that would be hard to forget. The religious scribes and Pharisees watched Jesus closely in anticipation of accusing Him again of breaking the Sabbath by healing a man with a withered hand. Their hopes were high for all the wrong reasons and they were not disappointed.

How dare Jesus consider the healing of a man on the Sabbath, the day set aside to bless and worship the Lord. Of all days to seek to receive healing, certainly the day fellow worshippers gather together should be a day of expectation for the power of God to be unleashed. And yet, according to the apostle Paul in 2 Timothy 3.5, he warned of religious men such as those in our Scripture to consider by instructing; “…having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.” How sad it is to be found attempting to restrict the power of God!

Something Else To Consider:
Jesus knew well their evil thoughts! How frightening for some to have their thoughts known by Jesus. For those who opposed Jesus it was not a pleasant picture. So, Jesus added another perspective to their evil accusations. He asked them a question which uncovered their true attitudes. He asked them a question that would be well for any leader in training to carefully consider. “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?”

The trap had been set. The bait had been surprisingly swallowed by these shark-like circling so-called religious leaders. As always for some, the truth is hard to stomach when the heart is so filled with evil intentions. Therefore, they were speechless! God’s Word has that paralyzing effect on those who refuse or reject the truth of the Word of God. What effect has the truth of the Word of God had in our lives? What eternal effect will the Word of God have on our lives in the future when it is the Word of God that will condemn us or assure us of life everlasting in the presence of Jesus, the Word of God?

Which religious group are we affiliated with at this time in our lives? Are we among those seeking another Sabbath healing for us or for others? Or are we among the many religious blind bringing another Sabbath accusation against Jesus or against His seekers of His righteousness? If we are among those seeking spiritual healing, Jesus declares, “Arise and stand here.”

Therefore, will we answer His call to arise and to stand? If we do, it will take true biblical faith to stand up for Jesus and His Word. If we choose to arise all of eternity awaits us. Yes, if we choose to be counted among those enduring to the end, we must arise, and we must stand in faith for the things of God! The temptation to not arise will be great but it must be resisted with the help and the power of God’s Holy Spirit. Yes, the flesh is weak, but the Spirit of God within us is overwhelmingly willing!

Something More To Consider:
These envious evil leaders accused Jesus of breaking the Sabbath. And yet, they themselves plotted to kill Jesus on the Sabbath. The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” is still so true! Therefore, what is wrong with this picture of so-called religious leaders wanting to destroy Jesus? What was it that withered within these religious leaders in the passing of time? What is it in mankind that is in need of a touch and a healing word of restoration from Jesus?

Jesus still stands ready, willing, and able to restore our withered hopes of being used by Him to positively impact others for Him. If we are quiet enough, we just might be able to hear the same words that the man with the withered hand heard, “Stretch out your hand.” And when we hear Jesus’ command, will we have enough little faith to respond in whatever manner is required?

As we approach the end of this age, there is much too much at stake to not respond to Christ’s command as did the man with the withered hand, “Arise and stand here.” And if we do as Christ commands, our eternal lives will be changed forever!

A Few Final Words:
Have we ever prayed to become one of the many laborers in the vast field of this world that Jesus asked us to pray for? Have we ever made ourselves available to Jesus to go, or to stay, or to give, or to pray for the ever-ongoing work of the kingdom of God in the earth? If not, our first step is to arise in Christ and to be willing to stand in the spiritual gap, and in doing so, to continue standing even unto the end.

And if we ever become spiritually withered within, let us immediately stretch forth our hands in the direction of Jesus and our heavenly Father from whom all blessings flow! Otherwise, we may become as other scribes and Pharisees of this 21st century generation and begin to bring false accusations against Christ and His enduring to the end true believers. And that only leads to a downhill slope that is hard to return from.

And let us who arise remember, faithful spiritual leaders refrain from doing evil which leads to destruction but seek rather to implement much good to the spiritual saving of many lives. “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?’

Our Father in heaven, You know our inner thoughts, our deepest hurts, and our withered hopes. Speak the living Word of God that we might be healed. In Him Always, Amen!

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