While I’m traveling, I asked some friends to answer a question: What’s the story related to Jesus that is most compelling for you? Today’s post is from Joe Ruiz.
Jesus is teaching in the synagogue. The religious leaders have noticed the man with the shriveled hand. They are looking for an opportunity to gather evidence against Jesus. Will he heal on the Sabbath?
Jesus is a mind reader; he knows what they are thinking. He calls the man with the shriveled hand to stand up in front of everyone.
I am intrigued by the interaction between Jesus and the man with the withered hand. Jesus invites this man to be the center of attention. The man must be willing to respond, to expose his weakness.
Most of us spend a lot of time and energy hiding our weaknesses. Since the beginning of time our default is to hide behind figurative fig leaves.
All of us have shriveled hands, hidden struggles of some form or another. We keep these struggles in the dark, fearing that discovery will lead to disappointment, humiliation, or rejection.
Paul tells Timothy to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
What does it mean to be strong in grace?
I wonder if being strong in grace is having the courage to respond to an invitation from Jesus, to extend our withered hand toward him. To surrender our weakness to him. I can picture the scene in my mind.
Jesus, having scanned the room, now turns his full attention to the man. He asks the man to stretch his hand, to present his weakness. In this act of trust and faith he finds healing.
We have a choice. We can hide our weaknesses or we can accept an invitation from the Savior to stretch out our withered hand to him, to fully embrace and accept his healing power.
What is Jesus inviting you to offer?