daily-devotionalsReading: “The man which had the withered hand”—Mark 3:3

Surely this man in the Jewish synagogue that had a withered hand will furnish us with a very improving meditation. Blessed Jesus, the great healer of both soul and body, render it profitable to my heart. This poor man had a withered hand, not only a shrunk sinew, but also wasting away. Notice that he was attending divine worship, for Jesus found him in the synagogue. But we do not read that he asked the mercy from Christ. It was Jesus that first looked on him, and not he on the Lord Jesus.

“Stretch forth thine hand,” the Lord Jesus said. Instantly the poor man found the powers of nature restored, the shrunk sinew became lengthened, and the hand, which had wasted away, was restored. Pause, Christian, look at the subject as it concerns you. How long did you attend the means of grace under a withered soul? And to this hour, if Jesus had not looked on you, you would not have looked on him. Were Jesus to suspend His blessings till sinners had prepared themselves for them, or deserved them, blessings would never come at all.

Now Christian, did Jesus speak, as to this poor man, and bid you live? Did Jesus command you to stretch forth your dead and lifeless soul, and say unto you, “I am your salvation?” Surely, then, with God’s commands comes also the needed ability; and the same voice that said, “Stretch forth thine hand,” gave vigor to the hand to lay hold of His mercy.

Christian, how sweet this is in light of your impotence, and Jesus’ sovereignty! Here we see scripture most completely fulfilled: “He sent his word, and healed them; and delivered them from their destructions. Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men” (Psalm 107:20–21).

Taken from The Poor Man’s Evening and Morning Portions by Rev. Robert Hawker, Works, Vol. 8; 1830. Edited by Aaron Dunlop for thinkgospel.com ©2014.