The Hands of Jesus

Written by Susie Hawkins
Published on April 07, 2020

“Jesus reached out his hand . . . .”

I’ve been reading through the gospels the past few weeks, preparing for Holy Week and Easter, which will be very different this year. 

This is my annual practice, as I once again read Jesus’ story and seek to find nuggets of truth that I may have previously missed. As I read, I noticed how so much of Jesus’ love and care for others was demonstrated through his healing touch. 

This made me stop and think about Jesus’ hands and the crucial importance of the human and divine touch in communicating compassion and mercy. 

No doubt, Jesus’ hands were rough and calloused from his work in his father’s carpenter’s shop. But his touch was gentle, with the power of God flowing through his fingers.

Through his hands 

He healed the unclean leper: “Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing, be cleansed!’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:3). 

He healed the blind: “Then He came to Bethsaida and they brought a blind man to Him and begged Jesus to touch him” (Mark 8:22).

He healed the deaf: “And He . . . put His fingers in his ears and touched his tongue” (Mark 7:34).

He healed Peter’s mother-in-law: “So He touched her hand and the fever left her” (Matthew 8:15).

Through his hands flowed his resurrection power, restoring life to a dead twelve-year-old girl: “He went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose” (Matthew 9:25). 

He restored a young man to life: “He came forward and touched the coffin . . . and said, ‘Young man, I say to you, rise!”’ (Luke 7:14).

Through his touch

But his touch was not just for the physically ill. He had hands of mercy for frightened Peter, who was drowning: “And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him” (Matthew 14:31).

He had hands of mercy for the soldier who came to arrest him in the garden: “And He touched his ear and healed him” (Luke 22:51).

He had hands of blessing for little children and babies: “And He laid his hands on them” (Matthew 19:15).

Through his hands he defeated the destruction of a man’s life by demons: “But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up and he arose” (Mark 9:27).

His hands broke the unleavened bread and passed the cup to his beloved disciples the night before his crucifixion. But his hand also dipped that same bread and passed it to his betrayer, Judas Iscariot: “And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas” (John 13:27).

Through his hands

His hands gripped the cross as he carried it on the way to Golgotha. 

But, more than anything else, when we think of his hands, we think of the nails that pierced them: “They pierced My hands and My feet” (Psalm 22:16).

Thomas, one of his disciples, needed proof of Jesus’ resurrection and looked for it in Jesus’ hands: “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails . . . I will never believe” (John 20:25). 

Later, Jesus appeared in their midst and showed his nail-scarred hands and side to Thomas. And he believed.

He served his stunned disciples on the shore of the Sea of Galilee: “Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast’ . . . He took the bread and gave it to them and did the same with the fish” (John 21:12, 13).

Through his hands, Jesus blessed his followers before he ascended into heaven: “And He led them out as far as Bethany, and He lifted up His hands and blessed them” (Luke 24:50).

And it is in his hands that we remain eternally secure in Christ, resting in his providential care: “And I give them eternal life and they shall never perish, neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28).

During this season, remember his hands. 

They reached out to his world then. 

They reach out to our world now.

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Susie Hawkins

Susie Hawkins lives in Dallas and has been actively involved in ministry as a pastor's wife, teacher and volunteer. A noted author, Susie holds a Master of Arts in Christian Leadership and a Master of Arts in Theology from Criswell College. Her writing appears on the Engage blog at Bible.org. Additionally, Susie has contributed to various publications, such as Voices Behind the Veil and the Women's Evangelical Library Commentary, as well as the author of From One Ministry Wife to Another.
Susie currently serves on the board of the Lifesavers Foundation, a Dallas-area organization that helps families in crisis. She also serves on the board of Baptist Global Response, a ministry that works with Southern Baptists in supporting disaster relief and development needs globally.

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