God's Cure for Withering Lives

Bible Book: Luke  6 : 6-11
Subject: Life, Meaning of

There was a certain speaker who began his seminar by holding up a $20.00 bill. “Who would like this $20.00 bill?” he asked. Hands went up throughout the audience.

He went on to say, “I am going to give this $20.00 to one of you, but first let me do this.” He proceeded to crumble up the bill. He then asked, “Who still wants it?” The same hands went up in the air.

Then he said, “What if I do this?” He dropped the $20.00 bill on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, all crumpled and dirty. “Now who still wants it?” Again, the same hands went up.

Then he smiled and said, “You have all learned a valuable lesson. No matter what I do to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth $20.00. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God’s eyes. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are priceless to Him.”

As I read that story, my mind immediately began to think about the people who I come in contact with every week. Have you noticed that people feel differently and think differently about themselves? (I have come to the conclusion that most of the time people become what they “think.”)

(1) Some People Feel Like They Are Wealthy. I am not necessarily talking about the fact that they are rich with material things. You have to agree with me that some do feel wealthy because they are wealthy. But there are some who feel wealthy because they have good health; a good job; a happy home life; they are not really in need of anything. They have all they need to satisfy their life and they that are happy just the way things are in their lives.

(2) Some People Feel Like They Are Weary. They are weary because something hasn’t gone their way. Some feel weary because they have been on an emotional roller-coaster. Some have been beaten emotionally because of some criticism they have heard.

There are those who are so weary because of lack of rest. Some have found themselves restless because of some decision that they have to make. This leads to being very weary.

You may be surprised to hear that (3) Some People Feel Like They Are Withering. There is some one (only God knows who this person is) that has come to this Worship service thinking that your life isn’t worth much. You have come into this place, surrounded by many Christians, thinking that there is no hope for you and your situation.

There is someone who thinks that they have reached a point in their life to where God has no use for them anymore. You think that your life is beyond repair. You think that God has turned His back on you and left you all to yourself to make it on your own.

You think that because you feel that your life is withering away, that there is basically nothing else to live for. You are not really enjoying life; you are just existing. You don’t want to live that way, but you have almost resigned to the fact that your life may never change.

Let me give you some good new! I know a God that can take a life, any life - a {worthless life} - a {withering life} that is given to Him in obedience to His Word and He can do wonders for your life.

{SONG} - “Some call Him Savior, the Redeemer of all men; I call Him Jesus, for He’s my dearest friend. When you feel no one can help you, and your life is out of hand, I know a Man who can.”

Here in this Miracle that is before us we see a man whose life is withering away. He has a “withered hand” (meaning that his hand had become paralyzed) which tells us that he cannot live his life to the fullest. *According to tradition, this man was an ordinary mason or bricklayer who had become helpless by the fact that he had loss the use of his hand.

His condition was not caused by some birth defect. This man’s hand was “paralyzed” because of some accident or disease.

This Miracle is recorded in {Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6} and here in {Luke 6:6-11}. Luke, being a physician gives specific details about this man’s condition. He tells us in {6:6} that it was his “right hand” and would tell us that his hand was “wilting; withering away.” This man was in a helpless and hopeless condition. You could say that his man felt like his life was withering.

I would like to teach you what Jesus did in this man’s life; a life that seemed to be withering and wasting away. What Jesus did for this man, I can assure you that Jesus can do for you.

I. This Man Attended The Right Place

Look in {6:6} “And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.”

This verse tells us exactly what this man did when he got up on this particular morning. We are told that he went to the House of God.

A. He Was Faithfully Acquainted With The House Of God

Look at the words “And it came to pass also ON ANOTHER SABBATH.”

I can imagine that as Jesus walks into the Synagogue, the House of God, He notices a man there that has a “withered hand”. Since Jesus’ custom was going to the House of God, He was acquainted with the people who came; especially those who were faithful in their attendance.

I do not believe that you had to give this man a first-time visitor’s card. No doubt, when the Synagogue doors were opened, this man with the “withered hand” attended. *The words "another Sabbath” implies that this was not the first Sabbath, or Lord’s day this man had been to Church. He faithfully attended the House of God.

I think about one man who was answering questions for a national poll. He was asked about his church preference, and he answered, "Red Brick."

The story is told of how on one occasion Jesus found a man sitting on the steps of a church. He was sitting there with his head between his knees with a dejected look on his face. Jesus asked him, "What's wrong? Why are you so sad?" The man replied, "I tried to get in this church but they wouldn't let me in." Jesus said to him, "Don't feel bad, I've been trying to get in there for 20 years."

The people let this man in because he always attended. Here was a man who loved to go to Church. Here was a man who did not let his problem hinder him from going to the House of God. He didn’t use his condition as an excuse to stay home.

I know and I understand that there are those who cannot attend the House of God on a regular basis because of some physical illness. They are providentially hindered.

Now, I have heard several people make this statement; “I am coming back to Church as soon as I solve this problem in my life. Things are not the best in the world as of now; but once I get things back in order, I am going to get back in Church.”

You would have never heard this man make that kind of statement. He knew that he needed to be in the House of God, and he wanted to be in the House of God. He knew that if he could just get to the House of God, something Miraculous might happen in his life.

B. He Was Fully Acquainted With The House Of God

We are told that when Jesus showed up that {6:6}- “And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that He entered into the synagogue AND TAUGHT.”

This man was not only use to going to the House of the Lord; he was use to hearing the teachings of the Lord. This man not only attended a Place, He appreciated a Person; he appreciated The Lord of the House.

We get the idea that the main reason this man came to the Synagogue was to hear and learn what the Lord was teaching.

I can imagine what this man heard that day. He could have heard the Lord teach about “How to have peace in the midst of troubles”. He could have heard the Lord speak about “How to experience forgiveness.” He could have heard Jesus say; “My Heavenly Father Loves You.” He could have heard Jesus talk about Heaven, and how beautiful it is.

This man was no stranger to the Temple; and he was no stranger to the Teaching in the temple.

You may be sitting there thinking; “I can tell you one reason why I don’t come to Church very much. I just don’t get anything out of it. In fact, I just feel miserable in Church.” I want to give you some good advice to heed. If you don’t get much out of Church; if you feel miserable in Church down here - then I certainly wouldn’t advise you to go to Heaven. Heaven is going to be a continual worship Service of singing, shouting, and praising God; forever and ever.

Think about something; being in the Synagogue proved to be a great blessing to this man with the withered hand. Had this man not been in attendance at this particular service in the Synagogue on that particular Sabbath, he would not have received his healing.


I would like to give you something to think about. Have you thought about the fact that failure to attend Church when you are able to attend will eventually give you “spiritual problems” far greater than any emotional or physical problems you may have.

Don’t ever let the devil deceive you into thinking that the Church is not the place you should go when your life is empty and void. The House of God is the best place to be. {As someone put it: “There is no place like this place. So this must be the place.”}

II. This Man Attracted The Right Person

For some reason on this particular Sabbath day, this man got the attention of the Lord Jesus Christ. We do not know the reason why Jesus chose this particular Sabbath to heal this man, but there was something about this man’s condition that drew the attention of Jesus to him. (There are a couple of things that we are aware of in this particular situation.)

A. The Hindrance That Was Faced

{6:7} “And the scribes and Pharisees watched Him, whether He would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against Him.”

The last thing a person should find when they go to the House of God is a hindering spirit. But we are going to discover that ‘hindering spirits’ that abide in the Church have been around for quite some time.

There were 3 groups of leaders represented in the Synagogue. The [scribes] were what we would call 'lawyers' today. In fact, in the days of the Hebrew monarch this was the title used of a court official, which acted as a Secretary of State. It was their business to develop the law in detail, and apply it to the circumstances of their time. Often, the title 'Rabbi' was given to them.

The [Pharisees] was a group of people very familiar to most Bible students. They were the predominant religious party among the Jews. The name 'Pharisees' denotes the fact that they were extremists and separatists.

The Pharisees prided themselves in their strict observance of the Mosaic Law. Their teaching reduced religion to the observance of ceremonial laws, and they upheld the authority of oral tradition as of equal value with the written law. (And, may I say, that the Pharisees did not all die in the first century. There are still a few around today.)

In Mark's account of this story, we are introduced to the other group of people present that day at the temple. In {Mark 3:6} we're told that, "the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him." The [Herodians] were another political party of the Jews. They were descendants of Herod.

While the {Pharisees represented legalism} - and the {Scribes represented formalism} - the {Herodians represented materialism}. They taught that the great value of life was to be powerful and wealthy. If one could acquire great wealth and power, then they would have found the great secret of life.

We are told that the Scribes and Pharisees were in the Synagogue WATCHING Jesus. The word “watched” means that they were looking carefully at what Jesus was doing. The verb of this word is in the imperfect tense speaking of continuous action. They kept on watching Jesus. They were watching out of the corner of their eye at every move that Jesus made.

Then they begin QUESTIONING Jesus. Matthew’s account gives us what the Scribes and Pharisees asked Jesus. We read in {Matthew 12:10}- “They asked Him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?”

Both the watching and the words of Christ’s enemies were in action in the Synagogue that day.

The religious leaders had made a number of rules and regulations concerning the Sabbath -- rules and regulations that God did not intend to be part of the Sabbath day.

These religious leaders had by their traditions and decrees made the Sabbath Day to be a great burden for the people. Their laws were so restrictive that even to heal a person would break their laws. For these leaders to watch and question Jesus revealed their great lack of compassion they had for the good of the people.

The Sabbath was to provide rest for mankind. (The Sabbath was not for a time of restrictions; it was a time for rest. A time to enjoy.)

1. The Awareness of Jesus

I want you to notice that Jesus was not going to let these tactics go unnoticed. WE SEE THE AWARENESS OF JESUS! {6:8}- “But He knew their thoughts.” These leaders were an open book to the Lord Jesus. Jesus knew their thoughts of evil against Him. Before they even acted against Him to hinder His work, Jesus knew their thoughts and their animosity toward Him.

This makes us aware that the Lord knows everything that is going on in this Church. He hears what you say; He also knows what you are thinking. There is nothing that goes on this building that is hid from the Lord.

2. The Answer of Jesus

Notice THE ANSWER OF JESUS! {6:9}- “I will ask you one thing. Is it not lawful on the Sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” The Lord’s question examined and then exposed the evil of the laws and regulations that the religious leaders had put upon the Sabbath. It exposed the fact that their laws prohibited doing good.

Jesus used an example in {Matthew 12:11}- “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?”

Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of the ones who were trying to hinder this man from being healed by telling them that if one of their sheep was in a bad way on the Sabbath, they would rescue their sheep and do what was necessary to save the sheep and alleviate its troubles.

Jesus goes on in {Matthew 12:12} and tells them that men were more important than sheep, which meant that healing a man with a “withered hand” was more important than rescuing a sheep from a pit on the Sabbath day.

When Jesus examined and exposed these men for who they were, we are told in {Mark 3:4}- “But they held their peace.” Christ’s answer silenced the religious leaders.

Kenneth Wuest, “Theirs was a painful, embarrassing silence.”

3. The Anger of Jesus

We not only see the Awareness of Jesus and the Answer of Jesus; we see THE ANGER OF JESUS! {Mark 3:5} “And when He had looked round about on them WITH ANGER, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.”

The anger that Jesus showed was not the type of anger that made Him lose control of His passions. The anger of the Lord was legitimate anger. His anger was not against the people trying to hinder this man from being healed. Jesus was angry at the sin they were committing in their heart. {Mark 3:5}- “being grieved for the hardness of their hearts.”

We are told that Jesus was both “angry” and “grieved” at what they were doing. Jesus was disappointed at their attitude towards this man with the ‘withered hand’. Jesus was disturbed at the way they were treating this man.

But when Jesus was “grieved” because of what they were doing, it showed that He had a compassion for them. *Yet, Jesus didn’t want any hindrances in the Synagogue.

This type of hindrance should not be found in the House of God. Jesus was dealing with this hindrance; He was exposing this hindrance; and He was also removing this hindrance.

B. The Hope That Was Formed

Turn to Matthew’s account of this story in {Matthew 12:9,10}- “And when He was departed thence, He went into their Synagogue: [10}- And BEHOLD, there was a man which had his hand withered.”

Look carefully at the word “behold”. This word captures my attention as if it was written in big, bold letters. This word “behold” says to me; “Before you go any further, stop and take note of this man!” There is a strong emphasis given to us in regards to this particular man.

Here is what Jesus does at this point. There were many people in the Synagogue that day. There were those who were hindering the service. There were those who were in need of help in that service. All of these things and all of the people were important to Him.

But there was one particular man who needed a great Miracle to take place in his life. There was one man who had set the standard for having a ‘great problem’ in his life. There was a man who had faithfully come to the Synagogue needing help.

This man was beyond human help. He needed Divine Help. He needed Supernatural help. He needed something that just coming to Church couldn’t give him. He needed something that his friends and Christian brothers and sisters couldn’t help him with. THIS MAN NEEDED THE ATTENTION FROM THE LORD! And this man’s condition got the attention of the Lord. The Lord was attracted to this man’s condition.

No doubt there were other people who had needs that attended that day. But Jesus was there on this particular day to help this man that had a “withered hand”.

There were certain things that got the Lord’s attention that day. Yet, one man captured the Lord’s attention. The Lord looked on this man.

III. This Man Accepted The Right Provision

Let me say something at this point of the story about what Jesus did, that encourages me. He did not let the religious critics keep Him from healing the man with the “withered hand”. The reason why this encourages me is that Jesus is not going to let anything negative in this Worship Service (if there is anything negative going on in this Service) hinder Him from doing something in your life.

If you will accept His Provision, which is the right Provision, you will be made whole of your situation.[As we come to the close of this story, I would like for us to see what provided this man’s healing.]

A. The Condition That Troubled This Man

Look at {6:6} “And it came to pass also on another Sabbath, that He entered into the Synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered.”

As I mentioned at the beginning of this study, this man with the “withered hand” had a hand that was “paralyzed”. He was not born with this defect. His “withered hand” was a result of a recent disease or accident. The “withering” of his hand was a sign that he contracted something that had no cure. (This speaks of the severity of it.)

The word “withered” describes a condition in which the muscles and often the bones are shrunken. The bones would shrink because of the fact that there was no movement in the hand. When paralysis inflicted a hand or leg that part of the body would shrivel up; for the muscles diminish in size because of lack of use.

We are not told in these passages of Scripture about the arm being affected by this paralysis, but you can imagine that the arm had become weakened because the man could not use his hand; therefore, his arm had been used very little as well. More than likely, the arm was getting weaker and weaker every day because of the “withered hand.”

It was C. H. Spurgeon who described it by saying, "This was not a sham disease. He had not made a pretense of being paralyzed, but he was clearly incapable!"

Now Luke informs us in {6:6} that it was the “right hand” that was paralyzed. Luke, being a physician gives us the very hand that was ‘withered’.

This is important information because throughout the Scriptures, the “right hand” is something symbolic. The “right hand” is used as a symbol of “strength; might, or power.”

{Exodus 15:6}- “Thy right hand, O LORD, is become glorious in power: Thy right hand, O LORD, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.”

{Psalm 16:11} declares - “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.”

{Psalm 110:5} says - “The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the day of his wrath."

And, we are told, in {1 Peter 3: 22} when the Lord Jesus ascended back into heaven that - {22}- “Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him."

This tells us that the “right hand” is a symbol of power, authority, might and strength. *However, here is a man whose "right hand" is paralyzed. He is without strength. He is without might. He is without power. He is without authority. From that standpoint, he is utterly, completely, and totally disabled.

This man being a stone mason - had his livelihood taken away from him. He cannot work, therefore, the next step for him would be to beg.

Now, we do not know how long this man had been in this condition, all we know that he is disable; his strength is gone. You can imagine just how troubled this man was about his condition.

B. The Command That Thrilled This Man

Jesus had His eyes on this man from the very moment He entered the Synagogue. This man had heard the Words that Jesus had spoken. This man had come to the House of God just like he had before. But this time Jesus noticed him, and then spoke directly to him.

There Was Conviction In The Words Of Jesus! Listen to what Jesus told this man to do. {6:8}- “Rise up, and stand forth in the midst.”

As I was studying the passage of Scripture, I read this particular verse, and thought; “Lord, don’t You know that this will embarrass this man if he stands up in the midst of all these people. Lord; You know his condition. The others see his condition. Why would You have him stand up in the midst of these people in the House of God?”

The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to my heart about this matter. You see, BEFORE THIS MAN COULD BE HEALED, HE HAD TO REVEAL HIS NEED FOR HEALING! *When this man with the “withered hand” stood up among everyone that day - it spoke of the fact that he could not overcome his condition by himself. He needed help. And in order to receive help - he had to see his need for help.

I want you to think with me about something. Unless I have overlooked something in this story, we are not told that this man ever asked Jesus about anything or for anything. (He could have asked Jesus to heal his “withered hand”, but it is not recorded in any of the 3 gospels.) This man did what he was told to do by the Lord. But this man never verbally asked the Lord for His help.

You can imagine that this man was embarrassed about his hand being ‘withered’; being shriveled up to basically nothing. He could not move his hand. His arm was weak and getting weaker. He could not hide his condition, so we know that everyone who had seen this man knew what his condition was.

Here is what I believe Jesus was doing when he told the man to rise up and stand in the middle of every one that attended the House of God that day. I believe that the Lord was helping him remove all hindrances that were before him and helped him release his faith so that he would receive his healing.

For this man to stand up in front of every one and come to Jesus was a humbling experience. But these words so convicted him and he rose up; and in doing so he was saying that it doesn’t matter what others think or feel about him - he was going to get from Jesus what he needed.

There Was Commitment In The Words Of Jesus! {6:10}- “Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” When this man felt conviction running through his heart about his condition and he committed himself to the command of the Lord - The Lord then committed Himself to the man; and gave him power to stretch forth his hand, and he was made whole.

When the man was willing to come to Jesus, it was then that Jesus became willing to heal this man. This man had no strength to lift his hand on his own. But when Jesus saw that this man with the “withered hand” was committed to do what He had told him - Jesus gave him power to help him stretch out his hand.

I feel for this man as he stands before this crowd in the condition that he is in. His hand is “withered”; paralyzed. Yet, Jesus wanted him to be visible so that others would see not just his need, but the Miracle that was to take place. Jesus wanted the Miracle to be visible so others would be amazed and see the Power of Jesus and also feel the delight that this man’s hand was made whole.

And when everybody looked at this man’s hand, we are told “and his hand was restored whole AS THE OTHER.” They couldn’t even tell that the hand was ever withered.


Let me ask you a question that only you and the Lord can answer. Is your life (spiritually speaking) withering away? There are some of you that use to work for the Lord. Some of you use to walk with the Lord. Some of you use to seek the ways of the Lord. But your spiritual life can be described as “a life that withering away.”

You have blamed the people around you. You have blamed your problems; you have blamed your circumstances for the reason why your spiritual life is withering away. But the bottom line is this: YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE IS PARALYZED!

1. The Hand of Prayer Blighted

Look at your hand spiritually for just a moment. (1)- It is possible for your Hand Of Prayer To Become Blighted. {1 Timothy 2:8}- “I will therefore that men pray everywhere, LIFTING UP HOLY HANDS without wrath and doubting.”

Paul speaks of praying hands as those people with lives that are holy and clean. How is your Praying Hands? Is there something standing between you and the Lord and your prayers are hindered and not heard by the Lord?

We read that W.E. Sangster, the late Methodist Preacher, said, “The ranks of real intercession are thin. Prayer with many people, I say, is scant and selfish. It is an iniquity upon a holy thing.”

2. The Hand of Service Barren

It is possible for your Hand Of Service To Become Barren. Your hand of service can wither away until it has lost all of its aggressiveness in Christian service.

Jesus spoke of this in {Luke 9:62}- “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (NOTE)> You can translate {Luke 9:62} this way: “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the kingdom of God.”

Have you lost your zeal that you once had in your service for the Lord? Perhaps you are investing more in the things of this world than you are investing in world to come.

3. The Hand of Fellowship Broken

It is possible for your Hand Of Fellowship To Become Broken. Has your desire to be around other Christians become bruised and battered? Perhaps you have allowed things to come between you and your Church attendance; and being around God’s people is not as important as it use to be.

4. The Hand of Life Bruised

It is possible for your Hand Of Life To Become Bruised. Do you feel that life has been some what unfair? Have you made wrong choices and your life is in shambles and your feel worthless? Some may feel that their life is slowly but surely withering away.


Listen carefully. The Lord has something to say to you. He has a word of Conviction for you. Before He can ever help you, He wants you to see your need for Him. Jesus is not here to embarrass you or to expose you publicly. He wants to speak to you; show you what you need; but He also wants you to see that you have a real need for Him.

He has a Word of Commitment for you. Jesus wants you to obey what He tells you to do. When you listen to Him and obey Him, He will commit Himself to helping you and seeing you through whatever situation you are in.

You may be wondering what others will say. You need to get over what others will say about you. It makes no difference if they know your condition or they don’t know what you are going through. What you need to do is listen to what the Lord has to say to you and just do it. JESUS IS THE CURE TO A WITHERING LIFE!

What is your condition? Do you have a “withered hand?” Do you have a “withered heart?” Do you have a “withered hope?” Do you have a “withered home?” Do you have “withered health?”

You may be surprised at what Jesus can do and will for you. Just bring Him the broken, withering pieces of your life and watch Him put them back together again; right before your very eyes. It may take Him some time to do it, but He will fit every piece of your life back in its proper place.

The Duke of Norfolk was a loyal and loving subject of his esteemed king. As a gesture of friendship he gave the king a priceless Portland vase. It was so highly treasured by the king that he had it placed in the British Museum. In this way, he could share it with his whole kingdom.

A household servant of the Duke of Norfolk became envious of him and sought to kill him in order to steal his estate. Finding this out, the Duke banished him. Smoldering with envy, bitterness, and rage, the servant sought to revenge. He chose the Portland vase as the channel for his viciousness.

For days he studied the routine of the guards at the British Museum. At a predetermined time, when the guards were being changed, he stepped across the restraining cord and seized the vase. He raised the vase over his head and with all his might, dashed it on the floor. The vase broke into innumerable pieces. The priceless treasure was ruined, or so it would seem.

The king ordered all the pieces to be saved. A search was made for someone to restore the vase. At last, a descendant of the maker of the vase was found was possessed such skills. For weeks he labored until at last the vase was restored. Today this vase can be seen in its restored glory in the British Museum. Only on close examination can one detect that it had ever been broken.

When this man with the “withered hand” was healed, others could possibly see other little problems in his life. But there is one thing for sure that they could not deny. They could not deny that Jesus did a Great Miracle in his life.

Jesus Is The Cure For Withered Lives!