I just read Mark 3:1-6, and can't seem to get past verse 1! "Jesus went into the synagogue again and noticed a man with a deformed hand." I know what you're all thinking -- and no, I'm not stuck on the man's deformed hand -- even though that would make sense (!). The word that fairly jumped off the page to me was the simple word "noticed".
Jesus "noticed" this man with the deformity. Of course! Out of all the people gathered that day in the synagogue, Jesus was drawn to one who was in special need of healing. A man with special needs.
I imagine this man always felt different than his peers. Less than. Insignificant. Deformed. Defective. I'm sure he preferred to live life in the shadows, unnoticed. But then one day, Jesus walked into his life and noticed him. "Jesus said to the man with the deformed hand, 'Come and stand in front of everyone.'" (v. 3)
Honestly, if that had been me, I would have cringed. I would have shriveled up inside -- wanting to be anywhere but in front of the synagogue with everyone looking at me...looking at my hand. Jesus, please don't use me as an object lesson! But I imagine Jesus' eyes were filled with compassion as he looked at the man. It was only when Jesus looked around at the religious leaders that His eyes took on an angry glare. "He looked around at them angrily and was deeply saddened by their hard hearts." (v. 5)
I wonder if the man sensed Jesus' gentleness and compassion (His sadness), even while hearing His anger. Did he, maybe for the first time in his life, dare to believe that someone saw him as a man of worth? Was it hard for him to ignore the crowd of haughty Pharisees (those men he looked up to in the past) and focus his gaze on Jesus alone? Did he worry about Jesus shaming him in public?
"Then [Jesus] said to the man, 'Hold out your hand.' So the man held out his hand, and it was restored!" (v. 5) Restored! No more deformity...no more shame!
Jesus notices us! He sees us as He intends to make us. As we fix our gaze on Him and put our trust in Him, He restores and heals. It took faith for the man to hold out that deformed hand for all to see (those years of ruthless teasing had left a dark, indelible mark on his heart)...but oh the wholeness that came from that trust! His hand (and I believe his heart) was restored.