The Hands Of Jesus / Learning From What God Cannot Do
The Hands Of Jesus
The hands of a new-born child are a most wonderful thing to behold. Ten little fingers with tiny fingernails reaching forth with innocent purity. One can only imagine how Mary and Joseph must have felt as their first newborn reached up and touched their face. They were literally looking into the face of God (John 1:14). As Jesus grew He learned how to hold things and reach out for things. Jesus waddled around their home in Nazareth, learning to pull Himself up, pickup sticks, grasp at His food and inspect a carpenter’s tool. In time, He would share His home with His four brothers and sisters and His hands would find time to help them and play with them.
Following in the footsteps of Joseph, Jesus would have learned the carpenter’s trade. The Creator of the world (Colossians 1:16) would use His hands to create things on the earth. He would help His mother and help their neighbors. His diligence would lend itself to be held in favor with men (Luke 2:52).
Like Daniel of old, the hands of Jesus learned early to pray (Daniel 6:10). He would spend untold hours talking with His heavenly Father in prayer. As a young man growing up in a morally corrupt world of Roman dominance, the hands of Jesus learned early to spend time with the ancient words of Moses, the prophets and the poets of Israel. He filled Himself with the wisdom that comes from above.
As early as 12 years Jesus was in the temple “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions” (Luke 2:46); His hands gesturing with truth and righteousness.
At the age of 30, the hands of Jesus went to task for the mission His Father had sent Him to do. His hands became wet with water as He arose from baptism and immediately gathered in prayer (Luke 3:21). Satan sought to destroy Jesus in the temptation but the hands of Jesus kept the devil at bay with the word of God (Mark 4:1-13). He took hold of the book of Isaiah and showed the people He was the fulfillment of the prophecy (Luke 4:16-30). His hands drove out “those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves” (Matthew 21:12). His hands were powerful.
Jesus laid His hands on the sick and afflicted. He touched the leper and made him whole (Matthew 8:3). Many others He healed with His touch (Mark 5:23; Luke 4:40). The Lord reached out with His hands and saved Peter from drowning from little faith (Matthew 14:22-33). “Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray” (Matthew 19:13).
At the Passover feast the hand of Jesus and the hand of Judas found themselves together in the betrayal. “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me” (Matthew 26:23). His hands were later bound as the Roman soldiers led Him out of Gethsemane to be tried, convicted and executed. The final act of the hands of Jesus was to spread them forth before all mankind in a simple sacrifice of love, mercy, justice and compassion for a lost world (John 19:17-18). The hands of Jesus lay folded in death as Joseph and Nicodemus prepared the body for burial (John 19:38-42).
A person’s life can be traced by their hands. The hands of Jesus tell the story of His life and His purpose. His hands were always serving His Father. What do your hands say? Do they serve only your interest and your desires or do your hands show the wear of diligent service to the cause of Jesus Christ?
Learning From What God Cannot Do
To say that God cannot do something seems to contradict the concept of an omnipotent or all-powerful God. Jehovah, in the face of laughing at His promising an old couple that they would have a child, challenges the doubters with, “Is anything too hard for Jehovah?” (Genesis 18:14). When the Lord’s own apostles were wondering at their failure to cast out demons, Jesus looked to their “little faith” as the problem and said that if they had faith, even as small as a grain of mustard seed, they could miraculously remove mountains and “nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). Their abilities were tied to God through their faith in the One who has the power to do all wonders.
While nothing is too hard for Jehovah, even miraculously removing mountains, or casting out demons, there are things the Scriptures point to that are impossible for God to do. These are not contradictions to tear down the truth that God is omnipotent, but provide for us important facts to complete the picture of God, and really strengthen our faith. While God has the power to do all things, there are things that are impossible for Him to do for they contradict His character. For example, God cannot lie, for in doing so He would contradict His character of always upholding the truth. Lies are the character of the devil and form the bleak picture of darkness, which has no place in God’s character (John 8:44-47, 1 John 1:5).
Because it is impossible for God to lie, we can have confidence in His promises. Paul writes, “in hope of eternal life, which God who cannot lie promised before times eternal…” (Titus 1:4). The passing of time should not cause us to lose confidence in the proposition that eternal life in Heaven awaits us. Like Paul, we must focus upon God’s character of Truth. God cannot lie, so we continue to hope, knowing that the promise will be fulfilled. God promised Abraham that in him would all the nations of the earth be blessed. His promise was accompanied by an oath. The Hebrew writer refers to these two things as “immutable” and in which “it is impossible for God to lie” (Hebrews 6:18).
Why should we be reminded of God’s promise to bless and multiply Abraham’s seed which found ultimate fulfillment in Christ (Genesis 22:16-18, Galatians 3:15)? So that “we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us; which we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast…” (Hebrews 6:18-19). God “cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). His character is one of faithfulness, and to deny Himself would contradict the truth of His very being. In essence He is telling us that He exists, therefore we should remain faithful to Him through life’s difficulties, trials and hardship. Man can become weak and quit “enduring” with the Lord and even “deny Him.” It is at this moment of doubt that we need to be reminded of what God cannot do, and rise up to serve. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; if we shall deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are faithless, He abideth faithful; for He cannot deny Himself” (2 Timothy 2:12-13).
Learning what God cannot do, we are encouraged to remain faithful, looking forward to eternal life with no doubts.