He went on from there and entered their synagogue. And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"--so that they might accuse him. He said to them, "Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath." Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. (Matthew 9:9-13)
I read this passage in my devotions the other day and was greatly encouraged by it. What struck me most was how eager Jesus was to do good to the man with the withered hand. The Pharisees were slaves to their own laws. All they cared about was obedience to their man-made laws regarding the Sabbath. They could have cared less about the man with the withered hand. But not so with Jesus. Oh how deeply he loved the man with the shriveled hand. How disgusting that hand must have looked! A shriveled and shrunken hand that probably had not been used in years would not have been a pretty sight. But He valued the man with the withered hand and longed to do good to Him. Jesus is absolutely bursting with goodness. Like a ripe orange that is simply bursting with juice, so the Savior is full of goodness. He longs to do good to His people.
Jesus greatly values Ian Murphy as well. Not because of anything good or meritorious that Ian has done, but because of the cross. Ian is saved and is therefore covered in the precious, valuable blood of Jesus. God delights in Ian and longs to do good to him because Ian is washed in the blood of Jesus. Let this encourage us to pray boldly! Jesus is longing to do good to Ian. He is longing to bless Him and pour out mercy on Him. Let us appeal to our good and generous Savior to heal and restore Ian, full of faith that He longs to do good. For His glory alone...