Arise and Stretch

7 October 2012


1.   Introduction

·         Jn.7:37-38 “He that believes on me out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water”

·         Jesus Message – “Kingdom of God is near – within reach”.

·         Jesus Purpose – come that you might have Life and may have it more abundantly.

·         Indwelling presence of the Spirit of God is designed to flow out to others.

·         Ezekiel’s vision – river from the house of God – flow to the lost, dry, people in need.

·         Unless there is an outward flow      – spiritual life becomes withered.

                                                                        -  purpose of God is frustrated.


2.   The Man with The Withered Hand


(a)  Key Passages Mark 3: 1 – 6


(b)  He entered the Synagogue (v1)

·         Synagogue = local church, gathering to worship – called to extend the Kingdom of God.

·         Called to represent Christ – extend His hand to the World.

·         Prophetic picture of the nation – failing to reach beyond self.


(c)  He had a Withered Hand (v1)

·         Hand        = Works, doing something, activity, productive work.

= Ministry (serving) people.

·         Right Hand (Lk 6:6) = main hand you work with.

= Hand of blessing (Mt.25L33)

= Power of God (Exod. 15:6)

·           Withered   = Dried up, shrivelled, scorched, no life

= Like a piece of fruit left under the bed – withered.

= Not functioning as God intended.

= No extension of the love of God to reach the World.

= Turned inward – turned in on self.

= Shame – concealed – withdrawn.

·         What has withered you?

-       What caused you to lose vitality, draw back from serving God?

-       What caused you to become withered and turn inward?

-       Trials and difficulties? e.g. Mt.13:6

-       Offenses – bitterness?

-       Disappointment – Grief?

-       Negative words spoken?

-       Spiritual pressure – resistance?

-       Fear?

-       Unfulfilled expectations?


·         You choose your response – becoming withered is a consequence of disconnection.

·         Brain Aneurism – can cause hand to become withered

– what are you thinking? What are you believing in your heart?



(d)  Jesus Spoke to the Man (v3)

(i)       “Arise and Stand Forth”

Arise = to awaken from sleep, inactivity, death, disease.

Heart of the Father is to restore – Jesus came to give life – abundant.

Arise! – must shake off passivity and defeat and inward focus.

Make a decision to stand up on the inside.

Stand Forth! – Don’t hide in the crowd.

Don’t conceal yourself – hide your gift.


(ii)      “Stretch Forth”

The miracle is in the stretch – reaching beyond comfort.

“Stretch” = to extend out the hand beyond normal position.

As he stretched the power of God was released.

Don’t wait until you see change – believe and stretch.


(iii)     Application – How you can stretch – Be Intentional!


(a)  Care for people

·   Look for opportunity to do acts of Kindness.

·   Smile, appreciation, practical help.

·   Generosity to people – let people see reality of your life.


(b)  Hear people

·   People are isolated and struggle with issues – connect.

·   Enter their world – ask questions take an interest.

·   What is happening?

·   What is their journey?

·   What are they concerned about?


(c)  Share your Life

·      What can you do/give to make their world a better place?

·      Your testimony – your journey with Christ – share it!

·      What has Christ done for you – let people see it!


(d)  Prayer

·      Commit daily to pray for people for opportunities.

·      Extend your faith to believe for doors to people to open.

·      Arise – stretch forth your hand.

Let the life and power of God begin to flow!