The Jesus miracles demonstrate that he is Lord over all. Rather than being bound by “laws” of the universe, he continually upholds the creation. When Jesus heals the man with a withered hand, he demonstrates His lordship clearly and deliberately, but without fanfare. The text does not suggest any fuss as Jesus performs this miracle. He simply says, “Stretch out your hand” (Luke 6:10).
Jesus’ deliberate, unpretentious lordship is an important reminder for us today.
Culture pulls us to take our focus off of our true Lord. At times, the distractions that first come to mind are temptations like the abuse of alcohol or drugs. But there are subtler pulls on our allegiance. Often, these are good things—careers, hobbies, financial stability, even our families—that become transformed into idols that we serve instead of serving Christ.1
In the time of Jesus’ ministry, the Pharisees had fallen prey to an idol. To guide his people, God provided commands in the Old Testament (i.e., Mosaic Law). These laws were a good thing that helped God’s people serve Him fully. But, for the Pharisees, these laws grew into thousands of sub-laws that made faith legalistic and actually got in the way of central biblical commands to love God above all and to love your neighbor as yourself. Rather than standing in awe as Jesus healed the man’s withered hand, Jesus’ act of love infuriated the Pharisees because he violated their Sabbath laws. We all have traditions and habits in our lives. Many are good, but some have grown into idols that must be discarded so that we can focus on our true Lord.
As we seek to bring our focus back to Christ, His deliberate and modest actions provide an example for us to follow. Today culture pushes us to conform, rather than deliberately live to seek Christ as our one savior. Jesus is very intentional as he exposes and denounces idolization of Sabbath laws. Before healing the man, he paused and “looked around at them all” (Luke 6:10). Although deliberate, however, the miracle does not draw added attention to himself.
This balance of deliberate and meek actions serves as a model for us to follow. By serving Christ fully, our lives will be different than those around us. However, in this countercultural lifestyle, we must not draw added attention to ourselves because of our perceived righteousness (then we’d simply be like the Pharisees).
Prayer: Father, you are Lord over all. We stand in awe as You continually uphold your creation. Work in our lives to cast away idols so that we can focus on serving you deliberately and meekly. Amen.
see Counterfeit Gods by Tim Keller ↩
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