When Jesus Speaks: It Only Takes a Word to Change Your Life

When Jesus Speaks it Only Takes a Word to Change a Life

He sits in the back, tucked away out of sight. Wishing he was invisible, a nameless man blends into the crowd. Perhaps he’s praying, pleading with God for help and healing.

 

Perhaps he’s not. Maybe after thousands of prayers, he’s given up hope that God listens or cares about his situation. Could be he’s simply going through the motions, the rituals of a religion lacking the power to change his life.

 

In the front of the synagogue stand the religious leaders, the ones who do it all right and know all the answers. He slips his hand under the frayed edge of his robe. Hiding his shame, he looks just like anyone else when only his good arm shows.

They call him the man with the withered hand.

Named by his need and known by his problem, no one really knows the man inside. He is healthy with the exception of one shriveled hand. As if that is all he is. The man with the withered hand.

 

 

Jesus says, “Get up and come forward.” It is a command, but also an invitation.

 

Caught between the leaders and Jesus, he stands and walks forward. With all eyes on him, it is impossible to hide his withered hand.

Faith stands when Jesus speaks.

 

Don’t be fooled by this simply command. In the KJV, Jesus tells the man to “stand forth.” To arouse, to cause to rise, to wake, to raise up, and to recall the dead to life–stand is a powerful word of possibility. It’s an invitation into the work of God.

 

The man with the withered hand doesn’t hold back, thinking, “He healed some, but he probably won’t do it for me.” Whatever went through his mind, he made the choice to walk toward Jesus.

 

Faith walks forward when Jesus speaks.

 

No rules, no tasks, and no tests. Nothing to prove and nothing to earn. The initiative of this encounter begins and ends with Christ. Don’t you love that?!

 

Jesus simply says, “stretch out your hand.” Offer your weakness, your problem, your imperfection.

 

It is the withered hand that marks the man’s life, setting parameters of what he can and can’t do. His useless hand is an inescapable reminder of his need.

 

Withered means to dry up, shrivel, or waste away.

 

His hand withered, but so do souls.

 

My hands are whole, though chewed around the nails. But I know this withering, shriveling like a plant with no water.

 

Fear, inadequacy, anxiety, anger or depression… a withering of the soul can take many forms. Lacking the water of the Spirit, faith can seem to dry up, leaving us wilting in the heat of hard days. Do you have that one thing that holds you back? That one thing sapping your energy and making you feel insecure?  If so, you know  soul withering too.

 

Nourishing our souls,  the life-giving power of God’s Spirit sustains faith that is vibrant and fresh. Do you hear the words of Christ echoing in your own heart, “Come to me with your need?

When Jesus speaks, it only takes a word to change your life.

 

The man with the withered hand stretches out his hand, acknowledging his need, his condition, before Jesus. Reaching beyond of the pain of the past, the shame of his loss, this man reaches right into the heart of God.

Faith stretches when Jesus speaks.

How about you?

 

Arise, my friend.

Stand, Weary One.

Get up and come forward.

Stretch your heart, the life you live, and the hopes you hold.

In the blink of an eye, this man is restored. His hand is healed and he is whole.

And in saving his hand, Jesus saves his life.

Oh yes, when Jesus speaks, it only takes a word to change your life.

 

You can find this story in Mark 3:1-6.

This post has been selected as a featured post at Grace and Truth.

Featured Post at Grace and Truth

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Linking today with #TestimonyTuesday#RaRaLinkUp, Coffee for Your Heart, #TellHisStory, Grace and Truth, #FreshMarketFriday, and  #Monday Minute with God, a link up of Christian military bloggers.

22 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this encouragement today, Ginger! Reading this built up my faith this morning! All He has to do is say the word!

    • Amen, Sister! Betsy, praying for encouragement for you today. I know God is working through you and your family in powerful ways, but discouragement can sometimes weigh us down. I’m thankful God has used this to lift your heart today.

  2. Love this. It reminds me of the story of blind Bartimeaus as well when Jesus calls him and someone says, “Get up, he’s calling you.” Such a sweet reminder that He is still at work doing these same things today!

    • Isn’t it easy to forget that Christ is working in our lives in many of the same ways. What touches me most in this passage is that Jesus takes the initiative. He knows the need. He knows the man. He knows the answer. Calling the man forward to receive healing–no other religion in the world works like this. Amen and amen!

  3. I love your robust faith and heart for Christ, Ginger! You’re writing brings scripture alive, brings me right into the scene, and back to reflecting on my own need for soul nourishing when I stray, returning to Christ’s loving embrace!Thank you for this message today!

    • I’m glad God brought you into the scene through the words He placed in my heart. Many times, I’ve found myself stretching out my hand, holding something in need of a healing touch or word of Christ. There’s something about this tiny passage that compels me to stand and walk forward, issues and all!

  4. Love this Ginger! Thank you for breathing new life into the Word! XO

  5. Love this Ginger! Your posts are always so encouraging and refreshing!

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, Ginger! 🙂

  7. This is fantastic. Love the reminder that we simply need to stretch out our withered hand and Jesus can change us.

  8. Ginger, I’m trusting for grace – along with you – to “extend my hand” or to “fill the water pots” or whatever it is that Jesus says to do in order to move forward into His plan.
    Blessings to you, and thank you for these words.

    • Happy Weekend, Michele. Love having you here today. You write the best book reviews. I always find something wonderful to read on your site! Fill the pots, take up your pallet, let the children come–would be interesting to trace all the instructions of Christ.

  9. This is a beautiful picture of Jesus’ power and the faith we can have in him. Thank you, Ginger. And I love the photos of the Wailing Wall. I have some of those myself.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Welcome, Rachel. So glad you came for a visit today. May God continue to encourage you with his power at work in your own life. Blessings!

  10. Hi, Ginger. Your post reached the deep places of my heart today. I have decided to feature it in this week’s Grace and Truth. Thanks for sharing your words with us.

    • Ginger Harrington

      Praising God for words that reach into hearts. Thanks for choosing my post as your feature. May God continue to call forth great faith in you and your words, Aimee!

  11. Pingback: Grace and Truth ~ When Jesus Speaks: It Only Takes a Word to Change Your Life - A Work Of Grace

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