Intro: Every miracle of Christ was a teaching - life unified, not divided into compartments. "I AM the truth" teach, declare, believe, hold. Secular and sacred; business, recreation, rest. Speaking to those who would like to submit your lives fully to Christ but held back by fear. Not a cowardice.
I. THE SCENE IS THE SYNAGOGUE.
A. Unconscious compliments of His enemies.
1. A man there with a withered hand.
a. "And they watched Him."
b. They immediately linked Christ to the most needy man in the house.
1. They expected Him to be interested in the man with the direstneed.
2. They were perfectly right.
c. Jesus today is most interested in neediest here.
1. If you have some habit paralyzing your life.
2. He was angered by the thoughts of the Pharisees as He looked around the room.
a. "Stand forth."
II. "STRETCH FORTH THY HAND."
A. The command of Jesus "Stretch forth thy hand."
1. Take an imaginative trip. Look at the man with the withered hand. DO not look at the one who speaks to him.
a. "What do you mean stretch forth your hand?" This is the one thing he cannot do. Mocking?
2. Take another trip - put yourself in the man's place.
a. Look into the eyes of one who commands.
b. He said, "Stretch forth thy hand." I cannot do it but He said to. He would not ask me to do something I cannot do. I shall will to do it.
c. The will prompted obedience.
d. The minute he said "I will" to the command of Christ, he found all the forces necessary to fulfill command.
B. The teaching of the story.
1. When Jesus touches a mans disability, He brings him face to face with the impossibility in his life.
a. He does not say, "we will not notice this."
b. He goes right to the heart of the paralysis.
c. You are held back from Christ by one thing. Some lust of your flesh or habit or carnal desire.
d. Jesus says to you "stretch forth thy hand."
1. The one thing you cannot do, do!
C. The obedience "He stretched it forth."
1. A deep conviction his hand was withered.
a. You must have a deep conviction of your need. This is the man I want to talk to now. "You say one habit" "one paralysis"
b. Look into the face of Jesus and remember what He has proved He can do through the centuries.
2. The confidence that Christ could help.
3. The obedience that yields to His command.
a. Once the will surrenders to Him all the forces necessary to conquer are there.
III. THE LAST THING IN THE STORY - THE RESULT "HIS HAND WAS RESTORED WHOLE AS THE OTHER"
A. A change from weakness to power; death to life.
B. All of the withered forces in your life can be brought into action by the touch of Christ.