Understanding The Bible
"The Touch of the Master's Hand"
By Dr. Glen Clifton 1.
“The Touch of the
by Dr. Glen Clifton please turn to: Luke 24: 36-39
I’m glad to be back
with you today. I trust that we will profit from another study of God’s
infallible word! Turn with me to Luke 24, and as you are turning there, let me
I know I’m a bit long winded, and I told you that. One man came to me a couple of weeks ago and said, “You sure tell the truth.” I asked him what he meant. He said, “You certainly are l-l-o-o-n-n-g-g winded.” Listen: I only have about thirty minutes a week to teach the word, you have 168 hours each week, and I have only that short amount of time, so listen fast!
You did hear about the preacher who would put a breath mint in his mouth as he started preaching. When it dissolved, he would stop preaching. One Sunday he preached, and preached, and preached, when an hour passed, the reached in his mouth for the mint. He had mistakenly put in a button.
Today I want to share with you some truths about the hand of God. The psalmist said, speaking of the Lord, “your right hand has held me up.” (18:35) and, Isaiah wrote, “behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.” (59:1)
Years ago, the great golfer, Arnold palmer, played some golf matches in Saudi Arabia. His play greatly impressed the king of S.A. Before Palmer left the country, the king told Palmer he wanted to present him with a gift. “What can I offer you?” He asked.
Palmer was grateful, but said a gift is not necessary. After insistence he agreed saying, “the king could give him a golf club.” A few weeks later he received the deed of a 300 acre golf & country club.
The moral to this story is: “in the presence of the king, don’t ask for small gifts, because his arm is not shortened!”
Here's God’s infallible word: Luke 24:36-39
After the crucifixion, the bible says, “they were terrified and frightened, and supposed that seen a spirit,” and Jesus said to them, “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself…” Luke 24:37, 39. Jesus is saying, “These hands are sufficient evidence that I have conquered death, and that I am alive forevermore!” His hands ministered to the suffering and dying, and blessed the multitudes. His hands will ever be an example for us. The apostle peter wrote: “Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow in his steps.” (1 pet. 2:21). Matthew said, “And Jesus put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I want you to be clean, and immediately the leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:3). Mark tells us, “and they brought young children to him, that he should touch them…” (Mark 10:13). Matthew wrote, “Then he touched their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you.” (Matthew 9:29). And there are many more. Let us look today at the master’s hands.
The hands of
Jesus were: blameless hands!
The author of Hebrews tells us, “He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.” (4:15)
Sinless and holy were His hands… No sin ever touched His hands. Our hands must be clean, if we are to exemplify him. Paul points out that, “men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands.” (1 Tim. 2:8) and, Remember: our hands are not holy because of our goodness, but Because of his righteousness. The bible teaches us that: only those who are clean in heart have clean hands. (James 4:8)
Two little girls were playing with their dolls and singing, “Safe in the hands of Jesus.” “How do you know you are safe?” Asked one of the girls. “Because I am holding on to Jesus with both my hands, real tight.”
“That’s not safe,” said her sister. “suppose Satan came and cut your hands off?”
The little girl paused, then said with joy, “Oh, I forgot! Jesus is holding me, and Satan cannot cut his hands off, so I am safe.”
The hands of Jesus
were: blessing hands!
Jesus blessed everything he touched. He took little children in his arms and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16 tells us He made the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the blind to see, the sick to be well, and the dead to live. And best of all, he made the vilest sinner to rejoice in his forgiveness and salvation, all, by the touch of his hand.
A basketball in my hands is worth about $20., but a basketball in the hands of Michael Jordan’s hands is worth about $30 million dollars.
A baseball is my hands is worth about $12., but a baseball in the hands of Dontrell Willis is worth about $25 million dollars.
A tennis racket is useless in my hands, but in the hands of Pete Sampras it is worth a Wimbledon championship. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A golf club in my hand is worth nothing, but in the hands of tiger woods, it is worth hundreds of millions. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
A sling shot in my hands is a toy, but a sling shot in David’s hands is a mighty weapon. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
Two fish and five loaves in my hands is a couple of fish sandwiches, but in god’s hands…it will feed thousands. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
Nails in my hands might produce a bird house, but nails in Jesus’ hands will produce salvation and forgiveness for the world. It depends on whose hands it’s in.
Jesus hands were blessing hands, and we should use our hands to bless the world. Someone is waiting for a lift: Acts 3:7.
In about 1950, my parents took me to Corpus Christi, TX to see Fritz Kreisler, the famous violinist. Kreisler earned a fortune with his concerts and compositions, but gave most of it away. Once he discovered an exquisite violin on one of his trips, but he couldn’t afford it.
After raising the money, he returned to the seller, hoping to purchase that beautiful instrument. But, to his dismay, the violin had been sold to a collector. He went to the collector and offered to purchase it, but the collector would not sell it.
Disappointed, Kreisler was about to leave, when he had an idea. “Could I play the violin before it is consigned to silence?” He asked. Permission was granted and the great virtuoso filled the room with heart-moving music, and the collector’s emotions were deeply stirred. And, he said, “I have no right to keep that to myself, it‘s yours, Mr. Kreisler. Take it to the world, and let people hear it.” That violin in the hands of Kreisler blessed millions.
To sinners saved by grace, the gospel is like the rapturous harmonies of heaven. We have no right to keep it to ourselves. Jesus tells us to take it into our world and let people hear it.
The song says:
“I’ll tell the world how Jesus saved me,
and how He gave me a life brand new;
and I know that if you trust Him,
that all He gave me He’ll give to you.”
The hands of
Jesus were: bearing hands!
His hands bore the weight and burden of toil. Remember: he was a carpenter by trade, following in Joseph’s trade. He rendered a very humble service to others, and gave that vocation a dignity never known before. He worked with his hands. We are in this world to serve others.
He also bore the heavy cross to Calvary. And, as there was a cross for Jesus. There is a cross for every Christian.
The song says:
“Must Jesus bear the cross alone,
and all the world go free?
No, there’s a cross for everyone,
and there’s a cross for me.”
Jesus said, “My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30) He set the example for us, and we are to follow His example. Paul reminds us to “bear one another’s burdens…” (Galatians 6:2) question: are we doing it?
A mother wanting to encourage her young son’s progress on the piano took him to a Paderewski concert. When she was seated, she saw some of her friends in the audience and she went to greet them. Seizing the opportunity to explore the wonders of the concert hall, the little boy walked around and passed through a door marked “no admittance.” When the house lights dimmed and the concert was about to begin, the mother returned to her seat and discovered that her son was missing. Suddenly the curtains parted and spotlights focused on the impressive Steinway on stage. In horror, the mother saw her little boy sitting at the keyboard, innocently picking out “twinkle, twinkle little star.” At that moment the great piano master moved to the piano, and whispered in the boy’s ear, “Don’t quit, keep playing.” Then leaning over, Paderewski reached down with his left hand and began filling in a bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side of the child and he added a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice transformed a frightening situation into a wonderfully creative experience. The audience was mesmerized.
That’s the way it is with God. What we can accomplish on our own is hardly noteworthy. We try our best, but the results aren’t exactly graceful flowing music. With the hand of the Master, our life’s work truly can be beautiful. So, the next time you set out to accomplish great feats, listen carefully and you can hear the voice of the Master saying, “don’t quit, keep playing.” And, feel his loving arms around you, and his strong hands playing the concerto of your life.
The song says: “One day they led Jesus up Calvary’s mountain, one day they nailed Him to die on a tree; suffering anguish, despised and rejected, bearing our sins … my redeemer is He.
The hands of
Jesus were: bleeding hands!
Nailed, pierced, suffering and bleeding were his hands. They bled for you, and they bled for me!
One day, one of my deacons came and asked me, “Pastor, do you know what the only “man-made” thing in heaven is?” I said, “No.” He said, “The nail scarred hands of Jesus.”
And, those of us who follow the master must never shirk from suffering. My hands can never atone for one sin, but, they can embrace the sacrifices and sufferings of life for Christ’s sake.
The bible says, “…without the shedding of blood, there is no remission (no forgiveness, no cleansing, no atonement, no justification) of sin.” (Hebrews 9:22)
The song says:
The blood that Jesus shed for me, way back on Calvary,
The blood that gives me strength from day to day,
It will never lose its power…
It soothes my doubts and calms my fears,
And it dries all my tears;
The blood that gives me strength from day to day,
It will never lose its power…”
The hands of
Jesus were: beckoning hands, inviting hands!
His beckoning hands are expressive of his loving heart and his pleading voice. On the last day of the feast at Jerusalem, Jesus stood and cried, saying, “If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” (John 7:37)
The song says:
“Brightest and best of that glorious throng,
Center of all and theme of their song,
Jesus our savior, the pierced one stands,
Lovingly calling with beckoning hands.
Beautiful, beckoning hands, beautiful, beckoning hands of Jesus!”
As his hands are extended to a lost and sinful world. He wants our hands to be extended to this same world. “You are my witnesses, says the Lord” Isa. 43:10. Jesus told us to “Go into all the world” as His witnesses. (Matthew 28:19, 20)
Who have you invited to Jesus lately?
The hands of
Jesus were: building hands!
The hands of Jesus were church building hands. (Matthew 16:18) Jesus is the master builder. And, he would have us join our hands with His in this wonderful building program.
The apostle peter wrote: that you, his children, “as living stones are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 2:5)
Before Jesus left, He said, “…I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2, 3) Jesus is now building in eternity for all His children. But, He only builds for those who are building for Him here. (1 Corinthians 3:11-13)
As Christians, we should be builders, not destroyers … we should lift up, not tear down …. we should be unifiers not dividers!
In conclusion, let us hear once again the three little words of Jesus in verse 39: “Behold My hands.” And let us turn our eyes to the blameless, blessing, life-giving hands of Jesus, Before they become banishing hands, where He says, “Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Matthew 25:41) oh, friend, turn your eyes on Jesus today!
In closing, may I offer you some praise in poetry by Myra Brooks?
“The Touch of the Master’s Hand”
“It was battered and scarred,
and the auctioneer thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin, but, he held it up with a smile:
“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried.
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”
“A dollar, a dollar;” then, “two!” “Only two? “Two dollars, and who’ll make it three; going for three…”
But no, From the room, far back, a grey-haired man came forward and picked up the bow;
then, wiping the dust from the old violin, and tightening all the loose strings,
played a melody pure and sweet as a caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer,
with a voice that was quiet and low, said,
“Now, what am I bid for the old violin?”
And he held it up with the bow.
“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?
Two thousand, who’ll make it three?”
Three thousand once, three thousand,
twice, and going, and gone,” said he.
The people cheered, and some of them cried,
“We do not quite understand. What changed its worth?”
Swift came the reply: “The touch of the master’s hand.”
And, many a man with life out of tune, battered and scarred with sin,
is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin.
A “mess of pottage,” a “glass of wine;” a game … and he travels on.
He’s “going” once, and “going” twice; he’s “going” and almost “gone.”
But the master comes,
and the foolish crowd never can quite understand
the worth of a soul, and the change that’s wrought,
by the touch of the master’s hand.
Friend, are you “almost gone?”
Are you battered and scarred with sin?”
Then, this is your day, for God’s word says,
“behold; now (today) is the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 6:2)
would you give you life to him today?
Would you let Jesus save you today?
Will you ask him to do that right now?
“Precious lord, take my hand,
lead me on, help me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Thro’ the storm, thro’ the night,
lead me on to the light,
take my hand, precious lord; lead me home.”
“When my way grows drear,
precious lord, linger near,
when my life is almost gone.
Hear my cry, hear my call,
hold my hand, lest I fall.
Take my hand, precious lord; lead me home.”
Dr. Glen Clifton
Used by permission
Touch of the Master's Hand"
by Dr. Glen E. Clifton
1. Dr. Clifton had been preaching at King's Baptist church in Vero Beach, Florida where he served as Interim Preacher for about 8 months (as of September 2006). Dr. Clifton and his wife Dee, have been retired to Florida for 4 years. He has been kept busy preaching up and down the Treasure coast since he moved here. He can be contacted for speaking engagements at (772) 336-3992.
Clifton, Dr. Glen E., Brief Biography