Mark 3:1 is our verse today. It simply reads: "Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand." Two insights hit me: The word "again" is used to describe Jesus entering the synagogue on the Sabbath. Note that it was Jesus' custom to worship each week on the Sabbath. "Again" he did so. I would exhort all of you to make it your habit to worship weekly. Why? Several reasons:
1. It is part of the Sabbath command from God. One day is put aside to renew and refresh our souls. One of the primary ways this happens is by worship.
2. It is a witness to the unbelieving world. When Christians come together weekly, especially in large numbers, the unbelieving world takes note.
3. We never know when a word sung in song, or a word spoken from the pulpit, or a prayer uttered in faith may be the word God intended for us to hear that day at that time to give us needed faith and hope for that week and beyond.
4. It glorifies God, the giver of all life and blessing.
5. Jesus made it his discipline. If we are his followers, it should be our discipline too.
Second, I'm struck by the mention that there is a man with a withered hand when Jesus entered the synagogue. There are hurts everywhere, aren't there? In our personal lives, in our neighborhoods, throughout the world and, yes, even in our churches, our houses of worship, there are hurting people everywhere.
Jesus took note of this individual. He met his need.
Jesus wants all his followers to develop what someone once called a "spiritual antenna." He wants our hearts to be sensitive to the needs around us. He desires these antennae regularly to pick up people's hidden hurts and deepest pain. When we do, he desires us to find a need and fill it. He wants us to find a hurt and heal it.
As the Holy Spirit grows in depth in our hearts, this will happen more regularly. It's an evidence of spiritual maturity. It's a sign of progressive sanctification.
Today, may you find a hurt and heal it. May you find a need and feel it.
You're never more like Jesus when you do.