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Sunday Morning Sermon February 1, 1970
"Behold My Hands"
By Dr. Jack Hyles
"My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay
they hand upon her, and she shall live." Matthew 9:18
There was a sweet and touching experience that took
place in my presence two weeks ago tomorrow. I was to preach in Pensacola,
Florida, at the city auditorium on Monday night, Tuesday morning, and
Tuesday night. I was to leave O'Hare Field at a certain hour, but the flight
was cancelled. I had to take another flight, which was late getting into
Atlanta, Georgia. Then I found out that the flight from Atlanta that was
going on to New Orleans was an hour and a half late. I got into New Orleans
too late to catch the flight to Pensacola.
It was almost eleven o'clock by the time I got to
Pensacola. I had missed my speaking engagement Monday night. I did speak
Tuesday morning and Tuesday night, but had missed my Monday night
Now get the picture. It was almost eleven o'clock when
I got to Pensacola. I expected someone to meet me, of course, because my
plane was late. But there were numbers of people. For example, there was a
car load of preachers; I think four preachers came to meet me. But there was
a little lady; she must have been at least 80. she waddled when she walked
and her hair was just as white as hair can be, I suspect. She was also there
over in the corner. I guess there were two car loads of people altogether.
About a dozen folks, and that's very unusual. Usually just one person meets
me, and that's the mayor or somebody. Anyway, I shook hands with everybody
and greeted them. It was almost eleven o'clock at night. I had shaken all
the hands, and I saw the little short, tubby lady, 80 years of age, I guess,
walking away alone.
I went out to the parking lot and I noticed she walked
to a car by herself. I had done my best to be courteous to her as I try to
be to everybody. She got in her car and I said to the pastor driving my car
or the car I was in. "Look, where's she going? Is she alone? Isn't she with
us or is she with the other group?" He said, "No. that little lady has
driven over 150 miles just to shake your hand. She has heard of you. She
read your book. She's read your sermons and you are her favorite preacher."
She drove over 150 miles just to shake my hand, and
she could not go to sleep that night before she did. So she drove to the
airport rather than going back to her room and waiting until the next day.
She drove to the airport and stayed there. Now bear in mind, I was to arrive
there about 6:15 p.m., and she had been there from 6:15 p.m. until almost
11:00 p.m., so they say, just to shake my hand.
Often I've thought about the touch of the hand. I
recall a famous person whose hand I touched once. The feeling of the touch
of the hand of that famous person for the first time. The touch of the hand.
Someone wrote a song, "Oh, the touch of His hand on min." Another wrote,
"Have you failed in your plans of your storm-tossed life, place your hand in
the nail scarred hand. Are you weary and worn with its toil and strife?
Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand."
By the way, just yesterday I was standing here making
the nation-wide broadcast, and Mr. And Mrs. Sanchez and their five children
(Where are they this morning? The Sanchezes. Here they are. The seven of
them—baptized a few days ago. All of them won to Christ by Mrs. Tony) were
testifying on the nation-wide broadcast. They started to leave. Mrs. Sanchez
speaks for Mr. Sanchez. There are two reasons why she speaks for him: (1)
That's what all ladies do; and (2) He doesn't understand English very well.
He speaks Spanish. So she spoke and she said, "Brother Hyles, before we
leave, my husband wants to shake your hand." And, of course, I went down and
shook his hand.
Just the other day a little child about four years of
age was out in front of my office after the service. I opened the door to
see who else was there, and a little child had been waiting to see me, about
four years old, and asked if he could shake my hand.
Hands are very interesting things. For centuries
people have been noticing the hands. Fortune tellers will read the palm of
your hand. Doctors say they can tell somewhat the state of your physical
condition by your hands. If your hand is clammy or hot, maybe there's some
kind of illness on the way. They say that dryness and yellowness of hands
denotes typhoid fever. I guess there are about 2,000 dry hands turning
yellow right now in the service! Then the spotty hands give us an idea that
there are some adrenal problems in our body. Hands have 58 bones and 38
muscles and one and one-half million sense organs. People through the
centuries have been studying the hands.
Dr. Ray Birdwinsdale (now that's a name—Ray
Birdwinsdale) of the University of Louisville has a survey about the hands
and noticing the hands, but he came up with several interesting things. He
said the patting of the hair means approval. The tugging of the sleeve means
I'm pleased with myself, so he said. A hand in the belt means a good job
well done. The hand up to the mouth means skepticism. The rubbing of the
nose means rejection. I'm not sure about that but I see a lot of folks-about
50 folks rubbed their nose just then. That means rejection.
In the Bible, in the New Testament alone, in Matthew,
Mark, Luke, and John—four so-called gospels—the hands of Christ were
mentioned 45 times. It is a very interesting thing to me about the personal
touch of Jesus Christ. I was reading in Mark, Chapter 7, this week about
Christ, and it said, "He sighed." I've never quite thought about Christ
sighing. I mean Jesus had compassion and He sighed. Jesus always took time
for the personal touch. The hands of Christ.
Our text a while ago, Luke 4:40, said He laid hands on
each of them. When Thomas, in the upper room, came and Jesus said, "Behold,
my hands," Thomas said, "Except I see His hands." Thomas could have said,
"Except I see His eyes." He could have said, "Except I hear His voice." But
Thomas said, "Except I see His hands."
Now in Mark, Chapter One, for example, there's a man
full of leprosy. The Bible says that Jesus stretched for His hand and
touched the man with leprosy. Now here's a man who had not been touched for
years. In fact, he was admonished. He was commanded to cry, "Unclean,
unclean!" everywhere he went. Nobody could touch a leper. Here is the
creator of the universe taking time to reach with His hand and touch a
leper. I wonder how far you've gone from God today. You've not gone so far
away but what he could not touch you with His hand this morning. You've not
drifted so far from God's will but what He could not touch you with His
hand. You've not gone so far into sin but what God would not reach down with
His hand and lift you up this morning.
Many of you have heard me tell the story about a
conference I was preaching in Natchez, Mississippi. It must have been
fifteen years ago. I was preaching there for Dr. James Crumpton in the West
Side Baptist Church of Natchez. One night during invitation a lady came down
against the wall over here. She was bumping from the wall to the pew, just a
vile looking lady. She was obviously inebriated. (That means "drunk" in the
She was drunk and came down and looked at me and she
said, "Mister, I want to get saved." I had never done this before, but I
reached out and I put my hand on her head. I prayed for her with my hand on
her head. She was obviously drunk at the time. I asked for folks, if they
would, to go by, one a day, for thirty days to pray with her and visit her
and encourage her.
I was back a year later in Natchez, Mississippi. After
the service, three nice-looking, middle-aged ladies came down. One said to
me, "Do you know me?" A lovely lady she was, and I said, "No, I don't." She
said, "You don't remember me?" I said, "No, I don't. Why?" She said, "Are
you sure you don't know me?" I said, "I don't know you." And she said, "I
want to get saved." And I said, "Oh, you're the lady." And she said, "Yes,
I'm the lady. I'm not a school teacher here in the city of Natchez." I
recall how I placed my hand on her head.
So often I'll touch a little child on its head or flip
a little boy on his ear. Out here one time, you've heard me tell many times,
I tied a little boy's shoe. And he said, "Mama, did you see God tie my shoe
today?" I walked down this aisle right here the other day, and a little
girl, about three or four years old, was sitting right there next to the
aisle. Another little girl about the same age walked right down this aisle,
and I reached over and kissed the little girl, the one next to the aisle, on
the cheek. So I walked by and had my service, and that was the evening hour,
my early class. The next Sunday night I walked down the same aisle. The same
two girls were there. One little girl looked at the other sort of cocky
like, and she said, "See him, he's Brother Hyles. He kisses me."
Now, you know, the personal touch. Would you be like
Christ? You'll have to have the personal touch. Would you be like Christ?
Christ was always reaching out with His hand and blessing another. Matthew
8:15 it speaks about Jesus going into the home where Peter's mother-in-law
was, and it says, "He touched her hand and the fever left her."
Matthew 9:18 tells about Jairus' daughter. The Bible
says He came and laid His hand upon her. In Mark 7:32 is a very interesting
verse and an interesting story. It says that they came to beseech Him that
He may lay His hands on him. In Mark 8:22 a blind man came. The blind man
asked Him to put His hands on him.
You see, people have gotten the idea that Jesus, when
he healed someone or blessed someone, touched them with His hand. And so
they came and said, "Touch us with your hand, Master. Lay your hand on the
blind man. Lay your hand on this man sick of palsy. Lay your hand on these
people who are not well!" They besought Him that He would lay His hands on
And again in Luke 13:11-13 we find a person who had
been sick for 18 years and the Bible says, "Jesus laid His hands on her."
Then Luke 4:40, I like that, "He laid His hands on every one of them."
He wants to lay His hands this morning on the life of
every child in this building. He wants to lay His hands this morning on the
life of every teenager sitting over there. But he wants to lay His hands on
How many times have I said this? "He is a personal
Savior." He is not just a great big omnipotent God, way up in the heavens,
that we send telegrams to and say, "Thou, the great God!" No. He is a
personal Savior! He is concerned about the minutest detail of your life. He
wants to lay His hands on your life.
I'm not sure how many of these brethren on the
platform can say the same thing, but many times in my life I've been out
visiting, and there would be a fellow working in the yard or trying to
repair the lawnmower, and I would win him to Christ. There was a fellow here
visiting us not long ago. His name was Gerald Coke. He's a businessman now
in Texas, a very successful man. He and his wife were on vacation and came
through. I won him to Christ in his garage while he was repairing his
I walked in and he was a greasy mess. I mean, he was
like me. Listen, I can repair a pair of scissors, and I'll have to get
gasoline to wipe the grease off me when I get through. He was a greasy mess.
I walked in and said, "Mr. Coke." He said, "Yes, sir." I said, "I'm Brother
Hyles." I stuck my hand out and he said, "Why, Reverend." He said, "My hand
is greasy and dirty." I said, "That doesn't make any difference. I didn't
come to shake a certain kind of a hand. I came to shake your hand!"
He said, "Reverend, I'm not going to do it." I said,
"Put your hand there, buddy. Shake my hand!" And he shook my hand and got
grease all over my hand. (I wished I hadn't done it.) But I shook his hand
and he looked at me and he said, "You're a regular guy. You are a regular
guy!" And in a few minutes, he received Christ on his knees in his garage
while he was repairing his lawnmower.
How many times I have had someone reach out and shake
my hand. Their hand was dirty. The touch of the hand. I'll tell you
something else, too. I have had people tell me by the dozens just casually,
tat when they shook my hand or the hand of some of the men of God, something
wonderful and marvelous happened. It was George Whitefield, the great
English preacher, who said that when the ordination service took place and
Bishop Benson laid his hands on his head, he knew then and there for the
first time he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
When the Apostle Paul and Barnabas went out on the
first missionary journey from the church at Antioch, the Bible says they
gathered themselves together and laid their hands on them. When the seven
deacons were chosen in Acts, Chapter 6, it says they laid their hands on
them. The personal touch of the hands, especially the hands of Christ.
I like the story in Mark 10. it's about Verse 13. When
the little children came, the mothers brought the children to Christ. They
sought Him that He would lay His hands on them. The little children were in
the mothers' arms, and the disciples said, "He's busy. Leave Him alone." And
Jesus said, "Now, you leave them alone. You let those little children come
to me." And our Lord walked around and He laid his hands on this one and
said, "Bless this one and God bless this one. And God bless this one. May
the Lord bless this one." He took time to lay His hands on them. Jesus
always took time.
Do you recall that story in the upper room in John,
Chapter 13? When they had gathered there for the institution of the Lord's
Supper, the Bible says that after they had finished supper, our Lord got a
basin of water and girded himself. He took off his garments from the waist
up, girded himself, and bowed down to wash the feet of the disciples.
He washed the feet of Peter. Peter said, "You're not
going to watch my feet." And the Lord said, "If I don't wash your feet, I'll
have nothing to do with you." Peter said, "Give me a bath. Wash me all
over." Our Lord said, "You don't need but one bath, and you get that when
you get saved." You need daily cleansing, daily walking. And so our Lord
took His hands and washed the feet of the disciples.
I wonder if it may not be possible that the first
thing we'll want to touch when we see Christ would be His hands. He says in
Revelation, Chapter 2, that he holds the preachers in His hands. How many
times do we read in the Bible how Christ lifted this one up by the hand, and
He put His hand on this one and put His hand on that one. And so His life
was characterized by the personal touch.
Now look. Look. That means He knows where you sit this
morning. He knows every burden of your life. He knows every heartache you
feel. He knows every sorrow that you possess. He knows every decision that
you have to make tomorrow. He knows every place you'll go. He knows
everything about you, and He wants to place His hand on your life today!
If you have never yet in your life yielded yourself to
the touch of the Savior and let Him have His hand on you and your life, then
you're a miserable wretch on your way to eternity without God and miserable
on the way. Look, there's no person in this house today that could have a
happier and better life and, of course, a better eternity if you would just
yield your hand to the hand of Christ.
I wonder what the touch of the hand has meant. Maybe
there's a loved one that's lying in the casket. The body is there. Someone
came by and he slipped his hand into yours, and you felt a warmth and a
blessedness and a calm. I can tell you many, many times, when I have been
discouraged a bit and somebody has taken his hand and just patted me on the
back a bit, and the touch of the hand, just patting on the back has meant
Sometimes I've seen one reach up with a hand and touch
the elbow of another or pat the elbow. I saw a lady whose husband was
unsaved in this building sitting right back here one day. He was standing
there during the invitation. He had his hand on the pew, and he was shaking
like this, and the lady reached out, and she just patted his hand like that.
When she patted his hand, he broke in tears and came down.
Now the Lord Jesus Christ knows your name. He knows
where you live. He knows your phone number. He knows all about you. He wants
to come into your life and help you change it and make you happy by touching
you with His hand.
But the Bible says that after the fullness of time
came, our Lord went to the cross and on the cross, those same hands that
reached out and touched those little children and blessed them; those same
hands that lifted up Jairus's daughter; those same hands that raised up
Peter's mother-in-law; those same hands that reached down and touched that
leper; those same hands that reached down and touched that lady who had an
infirmity for 18 long years; those same hands that reached down and lifted
up that man by the pool of Bethesda who for 38 long years had been lying
there waiting for someone to put him in the water; those same hands that
always, lovingly, were helping people. They took a big tree, cut it down,
and made a cross out of it. They laid Jesus down flat on His back on that
old, bark-rough cross. The Bible says that they stretched out His hands,
those sweet and precious hands, and they drove nails and spikes into them.
On the cross, those hands that were blessing little
children, were pierced with nails of hate. Those hands that once had reached
down and lifted the mother-in-law from her sick bed were now pierced with
the nails of antagonism. Those same hands that had blessed the little
children and said "God bless you" and "God bless this one." Now the sins of
mankind have placed nails and spikes in those hands, those precious,
beautiful hands of Christ always doing good, always trying to encourage
people, always touching people, always helping people. Now those same hands
are nailed to the cross of Calvary. What are those hands bleeding for?
What's it all about? He was dying in your place, paying the price of your
Listen. In the hands of Christ, you'll find the
Gospel. In the hands nailed to Calvary, you'll find the way to get saved. In
the hands on your life, you'll find the way to live once you get saved. Once
you trust the prints of the nails in His hands, and you trust the price that
he paid for you on the cross, by simple faith God makes you His child,
writes your name in Heaven, and creates a new creature in you. You are born
Once you're born again, there is absolutely now way to
live a life pleasing to God unless you live the life in His hands, with His
hand on you and with the hand of God's blessing around you. God wants to
give you salvation through those bleeding hands. He wants to give you
comfort and strength through those ministering hands.
But He goes to the cross. He dies for you. He dies for
me. He becomes your substitute. He becomes my substitute. Those same hands
that reached down and touched the little children now are lying in the tomb
outside the northern wall of Jerusalem. In that tomb, I can see in my mind's
eye now, where twice I have knelt and thanked God for the empty tomb, where
twice I have sung, "Up from the grave He arose, With a mighty triumph o'er
His foes. He arose a victor from the dark domain, Now he lives forever with
His saints to reign."
For three days and three nights those hands with the
scars and the dried blood still on the palms, those hands of Christ lay
lifeless in the grave. Perhaps they lay across His breast like this, maybe
down by His side, maybe a hand is on His heart, who knows. But in that
sepulcher outside the northern walls of the city near that garden, the hands
of Christ are laying lifeless and still for three days and three nights.
After three days and three nights the Bible says that
He rolled back the stone and came forth victoriously as a conquering hero
over death, over Satan and over the grave. Now those hands are alive again!
But you'll notice the scars are still there.
He appears to those men in the upper room, the
disciples in the upper room and they shriek. They are afraid. They think
they have seen a ghost. And He says, "No. It is I. Be not afraid. Be of good
cheer." He holds His hands forth and those same hands that they had seen
touch the hand of Jairus' daughter and raise her up, those same hands that
they had seen touch Peter's mother-in-law, those same hands that they had
seen bless little children, those same hands that they had seen touch the
wicked, vile leper, those same hands are alive, but the scars are there.
As long as God lives and as long as there is a heaven,
the scars of Calvary will be in the precious hands of Christ. I think one of
the first things we'll do in Heaven, is touch His hands and say, "Thank You
that Your hands bore the price for our sins."
But now wait a minute. It isn't long until He goes out
on the Mount of Ascension. Up on the eastern side of Jerusalem is the Mount
of Olives. At the top of that mount, there is a little place, a little
enclosure. They call it the place of ascension. On top of that mountain with
Bethany on this side and Jerusalem on this side, our Lord is going back to
Heaven. Before He goes back to Heaven what's the last thing Jesus did? He
lifted up His hands and blessed them. That's the last thing He did. Always
using His hands.
Whether He was in a home with Peter's mother-in-law,
whether he was outside with little children coming to Him, whether He was
healing a person or saving a leper or saving a soul or going back to Heaven,
it was always the hands. Don't you think maybe He raised up His hands as He
went back to Heaven so they could see the scars on His hands?
As our Lord went back up into Heaven, you might wonder
maybe that one reason why they gazed up into Heaven—two angels had to come
and say, "Don't gaze up into Heaven." You think the scars got smaller and
smaller and a little smaller as He went up into Heaven.
Oh, the disciples could say, "Those hands bore the
price for my sin. The nails and spikes in those hands gave us hope for
heaven." And I'm sure they said, "How many times He blessed us. How many
times has He blessed others and healed others with those hands."
But in Revelation 1:7, we find the last mention of His
hands in the Bible. Revelation 1:7 says that the Lord is speaking to John on
the Isle of Patmos. And an angel comes and is going to speak to John. John
is afraid and he shrieks back, and the Bible says He laid his right hand
upon him and He said, "John, don't be afraid." He laid His right hand upon
How many times have you heard me tell this story? How
many times has some preacher told it, but it is so appropriate here. A
little lady was dying in a distant city. A sweet, Christian lady. A lady who
had known the Savior and walked with God for many years. They called her
pastor to come and be with her at her hour of death. He was out of the state
and could not come. A friend called her pastor; he was not of the same
faith, and he said he would go.
He rushed to the bedside of this dear, little saint of
God, who now was going to heaven. The pastor got there and the little lady
looked up and said, "Thank you for coming," as she was slipping away toward
eternity. The pastor looked and he said—he had a different kind of clothes
than I wear; he didn't wear a tie—he came and he said, "Before you die,
could I forgive your sin?" The little Christian lady looked up, and she
said, "What?" He said, "Could I absolve any of your sins before you go?" She
said, "Well, maybe you can if you can pass the test." He said, "What's the
test?" She said, "Would you lift up your hand, please?" And that preacher
raised up his left hand. They dying little lady said, "Would you raise your
right hand, please?" And he raised his right hand. In her last breath in
that sweet voice of Heaven, she looked up and she said, "No, sir. I'm sorry.
You can't forgive my sins. For you see, sir, my Savior has scars in His
hands." My Savior has scars in His hands, and today He still has those
Scars because He bore your sins in His own body on the
tree. Scars because He who was perfect was willing to bear your sins. Scars
because He who was rich was willing to become poor. Scars because He who was
God was willing to become flesh. But you and I as fallen, sin-depraved
creatures might someday be as God.
The hands of Christ. He said to Thomas, "Behold, my
hands." This morning would you behold His hands? If you're not saved, would
you behold His hands and trust Him as your Savior? If you are saved, would
you behold His hands as he blessed the child over here and raised up the
widow over here and put His hand on Peter's mother-in-law with a fever over
here, and touched the leper over here. Would you let Him touch your life
I am talking to some people this morning who are not
saved, who have never trusted Christ as your Savior. If you do not know that
if you died today, you would go to heaven look at His hands this morning!
Trust Him as your Savior! Become a Christian! Say yes to God! Walk out these
doors with your names written in heaven, knowing that you're a child of God.
"Have you failed in your plan of your storm-tossed
life? Place your hand in the nail-scarred hands. Are you weary and worn with
its toil and strife? Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand. Place your
hand in the nail-scarred hand. Place your hand in the nail-scarred hand. He
is your dearest friend. He will keep until the end. Place your hand in the
And then, this morning, if you have done that, you
have trusted Christ. You have burdens and heartaches and problems and
decisions; then let the hand of Christ reach out and bless you and
strengthen you today.
Let us pray.
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