God wants you to have a vibrant purpose. He wants you connected to Him, to understand your purpose, and fully engage with Him. If for some reason that you have been injured in life, hurt in life or disconnected from God, it's inevitable your life will not demonstrate all it could. Your life will be like this man with the withered hand, not just a physical thing but emotional, with tremendous shame
If you've got a Bible with you, what about opening your Bible at Luke, Chapter 6 and Verse 6. I want to read a story to you out of the life of Jesus. I want you to just open your heart to consider the possibility that God is wanting to speak to you tonight, about an area of your life; and let's have a look and just read the passage out, Luke 6 verse 6: it came on another Sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue, and he taught; and there was a man there, and his right hand was withered - so our message tonight is about the Withered Hand, the right one.
He had a right hand, and it was withered; and the scribes and the Pharisees watched Him closely, not to see how He'd do the miracle, so they could copy; but rather watched Him so that whether He would heal on the Sabbath Day, that they might find an accusation against Him. But He knew their thoughts, and He said to the man with the withered hand: arise, stand here. And he rose and stood.
And Jesus said to them - that's the Pharisees - I want to ask you one thing: is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, or do evil; to save life, or to destroy it, or to kill? And when He looked around at them, He said to the man: stretch out your hand. And he did so, his hand was restored whole as the other; and rather than rejoice and celebrate, they were filled with rage, and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus. And we know history tells us that they conspired to put Him on the cross.
I want to just draw a few thoughts out here. The first thing you need to do, is understand the nature of Jesus' ministry. Many times we confuse church meetings and the ministry of Jesus, and we need to be really clear. When Jesus came, He had a message, a very simple message. His message was that the kingdom of heaven is at hand. He came to proclaim that the power, the benefits, the blessings that God has in his kingdom in heaven, are available on the earth, in life, here and now.
So His message was: the kingdom of heaven is at hand. His heart was to reconnect people with God, and get them to be engaged in heaven, engaged with God's purpose, so they could bring heaven to earth; at school, in their workplace if they're at work, in their business, in their marriage, in their family life; that whatever the blessings are that God has in heaven, whatever God has reserved in that place for us, that they could be born into the earth and manifest here. We live in a world that's full of chaos, that's ruled by sin and evil spirits, and Jesus came to bring a tremendous message of hope.
And so the place He came to was the nation of Israel, people called by God, and of course many times He went into the synagogue. A synagogue's like a little local church, it wasn't the big temple where the centre of worship was. It was like a local gathering. It was like a small church gathering, and people came to worship; and so many times Jesus went into this synagogue, and when He went in the synagogue, it was His habit - He made a habit of going and attending; but what He did was, inevitably He caused trouble. Inevitably He caused trouble, so He goes into the synagogue this time, and the Bible says that there's man in the synagogue, and he has a withered hand.
It doesn't tell us exactly how it happened he got the withered hand, but quite often what happens, person gets a brain aneurysm, have a problem in their brain, they get like a stroke, and their hand becomes quite withered up, or they lose use of a leg or use of a hand, use of one side. But this man's hand was withered up, and probably like most of these ones, if you've ever seen a person with a withered hand, it turns inward; and so here he is, and when a person's got a hand which is like that; the word withered means it's dried up, shrivelled up, it's absolutely no use. So he's got a part of his body which is absolutely no use, and it was his right hand; and the Bible, whenever it refers to right hand, the right hand always was the ministry. The right hand always was the blessing, the right hand always was someone's strength.