September 6, 2021

"There was a man whose right hand was withered." Luke 6:6.

In the ancient world, a person's right hand carried a special dignity.  It was used to confer a permanent blessing (Genesis 48:13-18).  A king held his staff in his right hand (see Matthew 27:29), and a priest's right hand was consecrated (Exodus 29:20). A thief's right hand was cut off, thus perpetually reducing his status in society.  People shook their right hands to complete a transaction, thereby giving their right hand the power to uphold their word.

The right hand of God also carries a special dignity and power (Exodus 15:6, 12; Matthew 22:44; Psalm 44:4).  His right hand is just and true (Psalm 48:11).  His right hand upholds His people (Psalm 18:36; 63:9)

Therefore, when Jesus told the man with the with withered right hand to stretch out his hand, Jesus did much more than restore his right hand (Luke 6:10).  He also restored the man's dignity and power in society.

Along with our right hand, God gave us free will.  We can use our right hand to serve God or to sin (Psalm 109:6; 144:8; 2 Samuel 20:9ff).  Thus Jesus warns us: "If your right hand is your trouble, cut it off and throw it away!" (Matthew 5:30) It is better to lose our human power and social dignity than to misuse it and sin against God.

Jesus now sits at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Ephesians 1:20).  What will be our destiny?  Will we use our right hand to serve the Lord and so be placed at God's right hand? (see Matthew 25:34) or will our entire body be "cast into Gehenna"? (Matthew 5:30) Take Jesus' nail-scarred right hand and let HIm make your life right.

The following refection is from One Bread, One Body courtesy of Presentation Ministries (c) 2021.