A man with a withered hand comes to the synagogue on the Sabbath. Of course, the Pharisees were there to see what Jesus would do. If He heals the man, He breaks the law. If He fails to heal the man, He becomes one of them.
Jesus calls the man forward. He asks the question whether you should do harm or good on the Sabbath. He asks whether you should save a life or kill on the Sabbath. I wonder if the Pharisees understood. They liked rules. They liked things being orderly. God loves people. People aren't orderly nor is meeting their needs.
Jesus still honored the Sabbath. He still knew that God did not want us to depend upon work for all that we have. He still wants people to have a day of rest from labor. However, He also wants us to know that He loves each person separately. He wants us to know that the Sabbath and all the other laws were created to honor God and help us fulfill our potential. He wanted everyone to realize that God loves the individual. God does not lump us all together. He works with us separately.
We should know this if we look at how we are created. None of us have the same fingerprints, the same eyes, the same DNA or even the same look. Contrary to popular belief, no two people look exactly alike. There are people who are amazingly similar but not exactly the same. It should lead us to know that God loves each one of us separately.
This means that He calls us separately. He acts in our lives uniquely. He treats us all differently. He loves us all completely. He prepares the works He has for us as uniquely as He has made us.
Jesus fulfilled both the law of the Sabbath and His love for the man with the withered hand. Most of us would have said that Jesus could have healed this man the next day. He didn't need to anger the Pharisees. Surely, this man would be just as elated the next day. However, how could Jesus deny the Sabbath by healing the man on a different day? This man would know God's love more uniquely than ever because it was done on the Sabbath. Those who questioned the love of God would have seen God's love in action. Jesus could not have fulfilled the law of the Sabbath without healing the man that day. The Sabbath was made for man; not man for the Sabbath.
There may be several people who will have similar experiences that you will have today. None of them will have exactly the same experience nor will they be changed exactly the same. You may read a specific scripture that many others will read but will not get exactly the same application for your life. Salvation itself is unique for you. Walking with God will apply His word in your life in a special way.
Many people like specific rules which they believe will follow what God has said. Yes, there are principles that we should follow but a legalistic lifestyle will remove the love that God has for the individual. It will cause people to treat each other harshly while thinking they are following what God wants them to do.
God has something very special for you today. He has it for you and not exactly the same thing for anyone else. He has a special time or place or change within your heart that is just for you. His principles will still apply but His application will amaze you in what He will do.
So, stretch out your hand. It isn't withered anymore.
Mark 3:5 (NIV)
5 He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.