Arise...stand here ...stretch out your hand
What happened when Jesus showed up in a religious setting? Gathered on the Sabbath are the scribes and Pharisees (Luke 6:6-11). They watch closely Jesus, looking for some way to condemn or accuse Him. Also, present is a man with a withered hand. He represents all who need to be restored through the power of God. What seems at work here is that Jesus calls forth people to step out in faith. Yet, as they are called forward, there are those around them who get unglued when God moves.
How ironic it is that in the place that one should expect to experience God’s presence and healing, that so much unbelief exists. This is no new phenomenon, for in the wilderness when given the opportunity to possess the Promised Land, the spies gave an evil report, one lacking faith in the power and presence of God. Instead they declared they couldn’t and according to their confession they did not. However, those that trusted God did receive the promise.
Today, if we are to answer the call to stretch forth our hands, we must do so in the midst of a culture, even religious culture, that only remembers the miracles of the past, but fails to trust in miracles in the present. Jesus is the resurrection and the life. We can trust Him today. When He calls us to arise ... stand up ...stretch forth - He wants to work and show Himself through us. Will we trust God fully and stand up to make a difference? Or will we shrink back and settle for the religious conformity of impotency and regret? The choice is ours! But only one choice has a blessing!