“Then He said to the man, Stretch out your hand. And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other.” – Matthew 12:13 NKJV
In the passage of scripture preceding this verse, Jesus has been asked by the Pharisees whether it is lawful to heal someone on the Sabbath. He says to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (v. 11-12). Jesus wants to restore us because he sees tremendous value in us. He doesn’t care about religious mindsets or previous ways of understanding. God will bust out of any box we can create because he desires so greatly to restore us to wholeness. He cares for us that much!
The Greek word translated as “restored” here is apokathistano, and it means to restore to health. God wants to restore your health. To say you want to restore something is to say you want to return it to a former state of being. This suggests there is a baseline of health God wants to restore you to. This verse says the man’s hand was restored “as whole as the other.” The baseline is wholeness. God wants to bring the entirety of a person's being back to a place where the functionality and form are what he originally intended. He wants to restore you to the “original glory” he planned for you.
We are made whole in Christ. In this story, when the man got into the presence of Jesus and obeyed him, his arm was made whole. Jesus told him to stretch out his withered hand. Sometimes we have to stretch to be restored. Rarely does restoration occur while we sit still and do nothing. God desires for us to participate in our healing. In this instance, Jesus asked the man to do something that was seemingly impossible – reach out a hand that he had no current ability to move. God will ask us to do the impossible when we are in the presence of the One who makes all things possible. Our trust in him – in his ability to make us whole – is ultimately what does the work.
What impossible things are you hearing God tell you to do? Would stepping out and trusting him in one of those areas result in being restored to wholeness? Trust him! He values you and wants to make you whole.