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Shriveled Hands

What hidden shame is Jesus inviting you out of?

”Are you at the door of a new season but aren’t willing to take the step God is telling you to take?”

—Mark Jobe


“Jesus said to the man with the shriveled hand, 'Stand up in front of everyone'” (Mark 3:3).

You may know the feeling well. Your chest tightens up; your head starts to spin; and panic sets in. Words fail you, and when you do open your mouth to speak, your voice cracks. What am I describing? You guessed it. Public speaking! In fact, a recent survey showed that one of people’s greatest fears is standing up in front of others—let alone standing up in front of others when you have a disability! Such was the case of the man with the shriveled hand that Mark records in Mark 3.

We never catch this man’s name, so he’s been known as the man with the withered hand for centuries. Most likely, he spent his life alone and in misery begging for his next meal. Because of his deformed hand, he would have been considered an outcast in his day and banned from mingling with “normal” people.

Enter in Jesus to the synagogue where the man was that day. Jesus didn’t just see the man and walk past. Even though the room was full of Pharisees waiting to accuse Jesus for breaking any of their rules, Jesus intentionally made His way toward that man as if he were the only one in the room.

Jesus called the man to stand up in front of everyone and stretch out his hand, displaying his disability. Jesus could have healed the man sitting down. But there was a purpose in His appeal for the man to be seen publicly; He was testing the man’s faith. If the man hadn’t stood up, or if he had made excuses in doing so, the window of healing might have passed. Sometimes, God works with the shriveled areas of our lives by asking us to expose our most shameful parts, so He can display His power and grace.

Friend, you may not have a shriveled hand, but you do have areas of your life that make you feel less than whole. What are you hiding because of shame and guilt? Many people spend their entire lives hiding and minimizing their issues and miss out on living with their God-given purpose and destiny. Don’t be surprised at your “accusers” who would like you to stay broken, dysfunctional, and hidden. There is no such fear and shame in Christ. Stand up, reach out your hand, and seek the One who’s in the business of healing shriveled hands and hearts.

Listen to the sermon series: Just Own It

Part 1Part 2

Ministry Update from Mark

In the days before air conditioning, the phrase “lazy days of summer” was a common term to describe a way of surviving the heat—a.k.a. not getting much done! I hope that you’re finding ways to be productive while still enjoying the warmth and sunshine that July brings. For me and my wife, Dee, we’re enjoying being in Spain where I grew up by spending time with my 87-year-old mom; my sister, Marsela; my brother-in-law, John; and their family.

I will also be speaking at the Sunday services of two churches in northern Spain that my parents planted in their early years as missionaries. Additionally, we’ll be visiting the Discipleship Center that houses 19-to-25-year-olds who desire to become more grounded in their faith. The Center is run by Moody Bible Institute graduates, Jeff and Carolyn Anderson, and functions out of an old Catholic monastery that loans space to the Center—so you can imagine how beautiful the backdrop is where discipleship is taking place!

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