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The Value of the Hand
By: Vivian Banks

Mark 1:41-42, “And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will…”


The hand is a valued part of the body, and when there is pain, it tries to soothe by touching or rubbing. We eat, bathe, dress, touch, write, give directions, work, and grasp things with our hands. One can use the hands for good or evil.


In the Bible, hand appears more than 1,700 times. Jesus used his hand to heal. He touched Peter’s mother-in-law and the fever left, and he used his hands to pray for the children. Joseph used his hands for good and the Lord prospered him.


Adam and Eve used their hands for evil. Cain used his hand to kill his brother, and Judas used his hand to collect silver and betray Jesus.

The human body has 206 bones, fifty-four bones, 26%, are in the hands. Each hand has fourteen phalanges (digital) bones (three each finger, except the thumb), and these show great mobility and flexibility because of the digits; 5 Metacarpal bones (middle); and 8 Carpal bones (wrist). The thumb has a unique power grip, and a precision grip between the thumb and the pointer finger. They work together in unity, and when compacted, they make a fist.


I relate the hand to the church, compacted together in unity, doing the work of the ministry. Each member is valuable.

  • Thumb - pastor (unique power grip – leads and keeps together)

  • Pointer - pastoral staff, trustees, council, and administrative staff (precision grip – collaborates with the pastor for church care)

  • Middle, Ring, and Pinky - auxiliaries and all other members (works in unity)


When you lose a hand or finger; a feeling of shock, sadness, grief, frustration and even anger occurs. Moving forward and accepting the new reality is critical. When the brain and spinal cord can no longer detect any input, they send signals (the phantom limb syndrome), and they are painful. The same can happen when members leave or pass away. The pain of loss and failure to communicate triggers division, and the body suffers. Choose communication, clarity, and cooperation. Trust the Lord for comfort and peace, and do not allow the loss to bring division.


Father, help us to be like Jesus, that we will work the works of him that sent us. Bless us to use our hands for good and bring comfort to the church! Amen.

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