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Stretch Out Your Hand

Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction:
So far we have seen four conflicts between Jesus and the authorities
(in Mark the authorities are those in power - Scribes, Pharisees, Herod, Pilate - these are the authorities who often work together in Marks gospel)
The hostility of these authorities against Jesus has grown over the last few stories in Mark
They began their opposition when Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins
They thought that this was blasphemous! for only God can forgive sins
They then start trying to nit-pick everything Jesus and his disciples did
“why does he eat with sinners and tax collectors
“why doesn’t his disciples fast on the sabbath”
“why are they doing whats unlawful by plucking heads of grain on the sabbath”
In the first 4 conflicts Jesus responds with a witty proverbial saying -
Mark 2:8–9 ESV
And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’?
Mark 2:
Mark 2:17 ESV
And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Mark 2:19 ESV
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.
Mark 2:27 ESV
And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
Mark 2:
in the 5th conflict Jesus asked them a question, and their silence actually angers Jesus and causes him to grieve
So far we have seen four conflicts between Jesus and the authorities
Have you ever had
(in Mark the authorities are those in power - Scribes, Pharisees, Herod, Pilate - these are the authorities who often work together in Marks gospel)
The hostility of these authorities against Jesus has grown over the last few stories in Mark
They began their opposition when Jesus forgave the paralyzed man of his sins
They thought that this was blasphemous! for only God can forgive sins
They then start trying to nit-pick everything Jesus and his disciples did
“why does he eat with sinners and tax collectors
“why doesn’t his disciples fast on the sabbath”
“why are they doing whats unlawful by plucking heads of grain on the sabbath”
What were they going for? Why did the Pharisees keep challenging Jesus?
You see for the authorities they wanted to discredit Jesus, show him to be a law breaker and therefore not truly of the Son of Man, or the true king
The religious authorities lived their lives thinking they were the spokesmen for God, they were the keepers of the religious gates, they were the ones that people went to know about God.
They exercised their authority over the people in abusive ways constantly trying to separate themselves from the common people, so they would be seen as holy, and righteous, and God fearing.
They created rules and laws in the name of God and lorded these rules and laws over the people - they were oppressive, they were enslaving, they were spiritually abusive.
So when Jesus comes and engages with normal people, when he would teach (a role for the rabbis and Pharisees), and eat with the people, and he would become a friend of the people they considered that a threat to their religious cast system they had instituted.
History
So we have Jesus and his disciples having finished their stroll through the wheat field where they were confronted by the religious leaders about fasting, and now are headed to the Synagogue for service on that same Sabbath day.
Mark 3:1–6 ESV
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Again entered the synagogue
Mark 3:1 ESV
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.
Again entered the synagogue
So far Mark has placed Jesus in a number of different geographical locations
Walking by the Sea of Galilee
In his house
In Peter’s house
In the wilderness
walking in the grain field
And now he is back at the Synagogue in Capernaum

The Synagogue (picture here)

Was primarily a place of worship, but it also functioned as the hub of the Jewish Ecosystem
introduce video
It was the community center
It was the community center
it was the school
Children and adults
It was the courtroom
It was the debate hall
It was the house of prayer
It was the treasury
It was where archives were stored
This is why the Synagogue was such an important place - most everything in the Jewish life was tied to the Synagogue
So as they walk into the Synagogue that night for Sabbath Worship Mark notes that there was a man their with a withered hand.
Mark 3:1 ESV
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.

The Tension

It would have been normal for the man with the withered hand to be in the Synagogue because the Synagogue was also the place where priest would heal and cleanse people.
It would have been normal for the man with the withered hand to be in the Synagogue because the Synagogue was also the place where priest would heal and cleanse people.
To have a withered hand was to have a hand that did not work, it could have been a lack of muscle development, it could have been a disease that infect his hand… we are not sure
The word literally means his hand was dried up, it was rigid. He was unable to move it and it was visibly noticeable.
Could you imagine this mans excitement!
He’s here in the presence of Jesus
Jesus had healed so many people already and maybe, on the night of the sabbath he will find healing!
I could image him just watching Jesus’ every move.
Mark included this story to show us a greater reality and he shows us the greater reality by showing us over and over the Pharisee’s opposition to Jesus
trying to get closer
Mark 3:
trying to meet eyes with Jesus
Maybe trying to get connect with one of the disciples as a way to Jesus
But this man was not the only one watching Jesus, look at verse 2
Mark 3:2 ESV
And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
The Pharisees were watching Jesus for the same reason, but a very different purpose.
The Pharisee’s are more concerned about accusing Jesus then they are for this man’s healing.
The Pharisee’s have a very different agenda
The Pharisee’s have allowed their religious system to trump the greatest commandment “love God with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself”
These religious leaders have lost the heart of God in their religiosity and piety.
The Pharisee’s in fact have insidious intentions for Jesus
This is the fifth story in a row where the Pharisees are have antagonized Jesus, and Mark is building this tension for us and we see in this story the tension coming to a sort of climax.
In fact we see this tension reaching its boiling point in verse 6 where after Jesus heals the man they plot to destroy Jesus.
Mark 3:6 ESV
The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
We have see how Jesus is the king, he is setting up his kingdom, and the response to this king ought to be allegiance.
Yet, we now have these men who claim to be followers of God, followers of the king, yet are planing to kill the king.
This is cosmic treason and they don’t even know it!
It was the corruption of their hearts that led them wanting to kill Jesus…
Look here at the corruption in verses 3-4

The Corruption

Jesus calls the man to himself and offers a sort of riddle to the Pharisee’s
Mark 3:3–4 ESV
And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.
Mark 3:
Can you imagine this picture?
Jesus standing before the Pharisees, calling the man with the withered hand to himself and asking the Pharisees, “is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save a life or to kill?”
It is clear in Jewish tradition that it is ok to do good on the Sabbath
It is clear in their tradition that it is ok to save a life
Not to mention the OT scriptures that allow these good things to happen on the Sabbath.
Look at the elements in the story - you have the Synagogue, The Sabbath, and the Priesthood
The whole point of the Synagogue is to do good for people
The whole point of the Sabbath is to see people healthy and rested
The whole point of the Priesthood is to bring people to God
These are all good things that God intended to be a blessing for the people and means to bring glory to himself.
And here is Jesus standing in front of everyone, posing this question to the Pharisee’s and they would not answer, because to answer was to indite themselves
You see, Mark included this story to show us how the entire priesthood was corrupt.
From top to bottom the whole thing needed to go.
They claimed to love and follow God, yet they hated God. They would not follow his heart nor his commands
They did not care for the needy, like this man standing in front of them,
they did not care about the hungry,
they did not care about the foreigners (like the sinners and tax collectors).
They only cared for themselves, they were a completely corrupt .
The prophet Zechariah warned Israel about this sort of corrupt heart.
He called the people of God to repent from their sins and turn to God and to be faithful to the covenant
He was concerned about social justice
He was concerned about the widows and the orphans
He was concerned that the priesthood function as God had intended - to lead people to God
And in Zechariah God pronounces a curse on the priesthood if they don’t follow God and shepherd the people toward God
Zechariah 11:17 ESV
“Woe to my worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! Let his arm be wholly withered, his right eye utterly blinded!”
Zechariah 11:17
The man with the withered hand calls to mind this curse upon the “shepherds” the religious leaders who were charged to take care of the people
The Pharisees have proven to be worthless shepherds
They have no love for God
They have no love for the people
They have deserted the flock for their own gain
Jesus says I did not come to bring peace but a sword
And this sword that Jesus brings is destroying the corrupt Jewish system
The temple system was dealt a death blow by Jesus’ life death and resurrection - and found its ultimate demise in AD 70 when the temple was destroyed.
Zechariah says, “May the sword strike his arm and his right eye, Let his arm be wholly withered, his right eye utterly blinded”
A shepherd without the use of his eye cant lead the sheep
Like the withered hand of the man
A shepherd without use of his arm cannot feed the sheep
A shepherd without the use of his eye cant lead the sheep
In fact Jesus calls the pharisees bind guides and blind fools in
A shepherd without use of his arm cannot feed the sheep
And here we see Jesus standing with the man with the withered hand physically demonstrating the spiritual condition of the religious leaders.
As this man’s hand is useless because it is withered so the pharisees hearts are withered and they are useless in serving, feeding, leading, healing or protection the people they are to oversee.

Withered Hearts

So Jesus asks them the question
Mark 3:
So Jesus asks them the question
Mark 3:4–5 ESV
And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
The Pharisees were silent, proving themselves to be under the curse of God - they were unwilling to do good for the people, they were unwilling to save a life like any good shepherd is called to do.
And how does Jesus respond?
“He looked at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart”
Its interesting how Mark gives us a glimpse into the emotional side of Jesus
We see Jesus here angry, we see him grieved. and we see that the purpose for this is the hardness of mans heart.
APPLICATIOIN
As men and woman made in the image of God we are to model that image in every way -
We are to image God in the things we value, in the things we love, in the things we hate, in the way we act, in the words we speak, in the way we parent, in the way we seek justice and good and so on
We are also to image God in the way we feel
The way we feel, our emotional life is often times an area of our life that we leave outside of Jesus’ lordship
We often feel justified with how we feel about circumstances
This is how God made me
This is my personality
Its my culture
Its the way i was raised
Its just the way I’m wired
We allow ourselves and our friends and family to just feel what they feel
There is a popular saying, “you can’t tell me how to feel”
Its ok if you feel like a victim
Its ok if you feel overwhelmed
Its ok to feel however you feel, just make sure you manage those feelings the right way.
If we are made in the image of God, then is it ok to feel in ways that are not in imaging God?
Do the things that make Jesus angry make you angry?
Do the things that grieve Jesus grieve you?
If not, then you are not feeling rightly
When God is angry we should be angry
When God is grieved we should be grieved
When God laughs we should laugh
When God is happy we should be happy
When God is happy we should be happy
When God is sorrowful we should be sorrowful
We should seek to feel the same way God feels
So here Jesus is angry and grieved at the hard hearts of the Pharisees
How hard were the pharisees hearts?
There hearts were so hard that after Jesus healed the man with the withered hand the Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with Herodians figuring out how they could kill Jesus
Mark 3:
Not only did they not care about the man with the withered hand, but they were so hardhearted that they actually sought to Kill Jesus for healing him!
Tid bit
Thinking back to Zechariah we see this situation again in Chapter 7
Zech
Zechariah 7:9–12 ESV
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts.
We have seen how the
Showing the spiritual reality of the synagogue
The authorities were waiting to accuse Jesus
Have you ever had someone who watched your every move so that they could try and destory you?
Jesus calls the man with the withered hand to “come here”
Jesus offers a sort of riddle, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?
Background to the statement?
irony
The Pharisees go with the Herodians to plot to kill Jesus
Background to who the Herodians were
Jesus looks at them with anger and grief at their hardness of heart
Jesus heals the man by telling him to stretch out his hand and it was restored.
Typology
Jesus is the Tree of LIfe
Jesus is the new Moses
Jesus is the healing Prophet
Jesus is the Sabbath fulfilled
Moral
Be angry and grieve
Hope
All that is withered will be healed by Christ
Ironies in this passage
Is it lawful to save a life or to kill?
This passage makes it clear the religious institution of the day represented by the Pharisees wanted nothing to do with Jesus.
Jesus saves a life
Jesus was a threat to their authority because Jesus IS the true authority
Jesus was a threat to the priesthood because Jesus IS the true Priest
Jesus was a threat to the temple because Jesus IS the true temple
Jesus was a threat to the sacrificial system because Jesus IS the true sacrifice
the Pharisees plot to kill
Jesus was a threat to their sabbath law because Jesus IS the new Sabbath!
It would be easy in the sermon like this to jump to the practical implications of this sermon
We should, unlike the Pharisees, seek to do good, seek to give life
For the phar’ it was lawful to kill
Normally the Pharisees and the Herodians hated each other
We should, unlike the Pharisees, seek to love well.
The Herodians were edomites - sons of Esau
We should not be hardhearted
We should never seek to destroy anyone, or plot evil against someone
As pastor Zach said to me Friday night, Worshipers make the best appliers of the text
I believe the most life altering thing that could happen this morning is for you to be in awe of who Jesus is and what Jesus has done for you! That you would leave hear this morning worshiping our God.
You see when you see Jesus clearly it will affect everything in your life!
The best possible application to any sermon is to love Jesus more
To see Jesus clearly is to look to Jesus often
To r
And this story is a stunning revelation of who Jesus is and what he came to do.
The Pharisees would rather have a son of Esau on the throne than a son of Jacob
To see clearly what marks wants us to see lets look back at the healing of the mans hand
Mark 3:5 ESV
And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Mark 3:
Here we have Jesus telling the man to stretch out his hand so that he might be healed, so that his hand would be restored
Here we have Jesus asking the man to do the impossible - he is not able to stretch out his hand because it is withered. Yet he responds with faith and stretches out his hand and complete restoration comes to his hand!
religious hate is the strongest hate (pascal quote)
This story is a stunning revelation of who Jesus is and what he came to do.
This story is a stunning revelation of who Jesus is and what he came to do.
Don’t jump ahead to practical implication before we see who Jesus is in the text
The most practical thing you can do with any text of scripture is to see the glory and wonder of who Jesus is.
OT Echoes in this story
themes woven together here

Jesus is the Tree of Life

Stretch out your hand
Stretch out your hand
In the garden of Eden their were two named trees
knowledge of good and evil
Tree of Life
When satan tempted Adam and Eve what did they do?
Adam and Eve stretch out their hands to take of the forbidden fruit
God then says in
Genesis 3:22 ESV
Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”
Genesis 3:
Adam and Eve were banished from the tree of life - for if they stretched out their hands to eat of it they would live forever.
In fact God put a Cherubim to guard the Tree of Life so no one could eat of it.
Now we have man in the synagogue (a miniature Eden)
Now we have man in the synagogue (a miniature Eden)
The man is told to stretch out his hand toward Jesus - by doing so he is given the tree of life! Jesus is the tree of life
all those who stretch out their hands toward Jesus find life and are healed.
Access to the garden, access to the presence of God is restored.
The healed hand is a sign of restoration of Eden - its new creation
Jesus has come to restore our withered hands, our withered hearts, our withered emotion and feeling - he has come to restore all things!
And he is calling us to reach out to him
All who reach out to Christ are healed and restored
If you had any bodily deformity you were not allowed to be a priest.
This man represents the condition of Israel
Zach 11 God gives a curse to Israel, “let his arm be withered” - I sign that Israel has lost their priestly status because of their sin.
Jesus is giving back the priesthood to his people
All who reach out to Christ are healed and restored
Jesus reverses the curse and all the effects of the fall
Jesus is the tree of life, and we access to come feast on him and live forever!
Jesus is the tree of life, and he is also the new Moses

Jesus is the New Moses

When God called Moses to deliver the people from Egypt he gave him signs to show Pharaoh who he was and who sent him.
Moses is going to go confront Pharoh God gives Moses signs
staff turns into the snake
staff turns into the snake
put his hand into his cloak and pull it out and it would be full of leprosy (withered)
Moses showed these signs to Pharaoh and how does he respond?
he hardens his hearts
Jesus walks in to the synagogue and is about to show a sign of who he is and who sent him
calls the man with the withered hand to himself,
And how do the Pharisee’s respond?
They harden their hearts like Pharaoh hardend his.
Pharisees are the new Pharaoh
Pharisees are the new Pharaoh
like Pharaoh the Pharisee’s have enslaved the people with a heavy load
Jesus is the new Moses, coming to set his people free
Will we harden our hearts to God? Will we choose to follow Christ?
This also tells us that the synagogues have become like Egypt
The synagogues have become like Egypt
What happened to the synagogues can happen to churches today.
Traditions and customs become more important than God’s word
The church must be a place where any sinner can come and find faith, hope, love, forgiveness and most of all they will find Christ
People need healing. I need healing. you need healing
And Jesus is the one who heals
He is the healing prophet!

Jesus is the Healing Prophet

1 King 13 (tell the story)
1 King 13 (tell the story)
God sends an unnamed prophet to rebuke Jer’
So Jer stretches out his hand toward the prophet to seize him, his hand becomes withered.
Jer asked the prophet to heal the hand and the prophet does so.
Jesus is the prophet who has come to bring healing
Jesus is here going to show us how he is the fulfillment of the Sabbath
The Pharisee’s have abused the Sabbath - it did not bring freedom, it robbed people of their freedom making them slaves
This is the Jesus we serve
it was not only about individual rest, it was about economic rest, it was to give rest to others including the poor
Jesus is the priesthood
For the Pharisee’s healing was unlawful - for Jesus healing was the purpose of the Sabbath
Jesus is the temple
Jesus is the sacrifice
Jesus is the true authority
Jesus is the tree of life
Jesus is the new moses
Jesus is the healing prophet

Stretch Out Your Hand

We are all needy people. We are all withered people. We all NEED JESUS. And now he is calling you to stretch out your hand, stretch out your hand to Jesus. We don’t need to stretch out with an already restored hand. Right, we can’t clean ourselves up before we come to him. We stretch out with our dried up withered hand and he will bring restoration
Stretch out to Jesus and he will restore you
How does this story shape us?
The reaction of Jesus - the emotional state of God/Man
Jesus and mad and sad at the same time
We should have anger for the lack of compassion
The anger and grief of Jesus work together
We should be angry and grief at the same time
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