Heartfelt experience with Jesus
One day Jesus went church where he found a man with a crippled hand. The religious leaders had their eyes on Jesus to see if he would heal him, hoping to catch him go against the tradition of the church. As with most churches, they didn’t pray for people to be healed. Not in public and not in the church.
Jesus said to the man with the crippled hand, “Stand here where we can see you.” You can see it coming now. Jesus is going to openly challenge them all. He is going to do it publicly and clearly.
Jesus wants to know something. So He asked everyone in the church: “What kind of action suits Sunday the best? Doing good or doing evil? Helping people or leaving them helpless?”
What kind of answer did He get? No one said a word. Complete and utter silence. They didn’t have the capacity to advocate for doing good. They are uncomfortable to their core. We don’t have healing services in church. Not in this church and not during the Sunday service. Can’t we get the band to start playing again? Where is the praise leader? Isn’t the minister going to do something?
I don’t think I want to see this look Jesus gave them. When Jesus looked them in the eye, one after another, angry, furious at their hard-nosed religion. He said to the man, “Hold out your hand.” I’m not sure he said this in the most loving way. A point was about to be made.
Here it is. Jesus was angry. He was furious. What happened to our kind and loving “Mr. Rogers like” savior? Jesus is not Mr. Rogers with a beard. Not hardly.
So the man held out his hand—it was as good as new!
The minister and deacons understood what was going on. They got out as fast as they could, sputtering about how they would join forces with Herod’s followers and ruin him. That was their plan on how to deal with Jesus.
They could have accepted him but being the religious hypocrites that they were, they opposed and plotted against him. But the congregation didn’t do anything either.
And how does our religious leadership deal with Jesus today? Build a bigger building? Add more instruments to the band? Expand the children’s program?
What is Jesus’ plan? He is going to heal us.
Hold out your hand.
~~Jesus (Mark 3:5)