1. Eloquent Wounds

One Bible verse has lately been peeking at me strangely from Zechariah 13:6; a scripture with many sobering echoes.  It started some days ago when the Spirit told me that it explained the sad circumstances of someone to whom He was sending me, at a place where I had been invited to say just a greeting.

And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends (Zechariah 13:6).

There are wounds you cannot hide.  They draw attention, and you have to answer for them.  A wound on the back can be hidden with clothes.  A wound on the foot might be hidden in shoes, but how do you hide a wound on the face, unless you don’t wish to go out?  And how do you hide a wound on the hands, unless you will stay back home and starve, with your hands in your pocket, because you are too embarrassed to bring them out to work your land and put bread to the mouth – for which you still need to expose the hands.  Some wounds draw unfavourable attention, especially when it is not just one hand afflicted, but both: “What are these wounds in thine hands?”

Wounds in the hands is trouble enough, what more when they were inflicted by whom you are embarrassed to say, like the dressed stories of ‘domestic accidents’ told by wives too nice or too ashamed to say who had bruised them in the house?  In our passage, the victim reports, “I was wounded in the house of my friends.”  That’s a strange place to be wounded at.  The house of a friend (or friends) should be a place of refuge, but when that becomes the place of battering, not just from one friend but “friends,” you cannot freely talk to those anymore.  You can only answer to the caring “one” outsiders who sees and asks, “What are these wounds in thine hands?”

Not everyone who sees asks.  Some are too ‘polite’ to ‘interfere,’ or just too busy with their own troubles to add another’s.  For the many that see and pass by, there will always be that “one” Good Samaritan who dares to stop and ask, “What are these wounds in thine hands?”

Whom do you talk to when friends have become wounders and their house a slaughter slab for your tender defenceless hands?  If it had been friendly fires, injuries inflicted unintentionally by friends who had been aiming at an enemy, you would have understood.  But these were intentional wounds; not just by one but by a number; friends who knew you well, in the very close proximity of the house – their house.

  1. Trust Abused

Tamar was a pretty princess who trusted her brother Amnon when he said he was so sick that he needed her to come to his house and administer the special therapy-meal prescribed by his mischievous friend.  Her father the king, also suspecting nothing, urged her on.  It was a trap.  She got raped by the brother she had trusted so much as to go into his bedroom to see him recovered from a mysterious ‘sickness’ that had defied all proper medications (2 Samuel 13:1-20).  How does a girl, a virgin, tell such a story?  Is a groomed brother’s room the place where a good girl expects to be raped?  “I was wounded in the house of my friends.”

There are many victims of injuries from brotherly wounds; injuries in parts of the body where they cannot be hidden; injuries that beg many questions that pitilessly suggest blamefully that you should have been ‘smarter’ than that.  Alas the ulcerated financial injuries from brothers who cried that they were about to die unless you gave them money that you did not even have.  You took a loan to help them. Now your calls to their phones never get through, and the bank has put your only house on the market, to pay that loan … “wounded in the house of my friends.”

A young woman trusted her ‘man of God’ and took meals to him.  He said that he had seen a vision for which he would pray a ‘special prayer’ for her.  Naïve and trusting, she went, only to be wounded in the house of her friends.  To whom do you tell such a tale?  How?

She was a trusted friend, or so you believed, whom you took along to visit your new fiancé.  After a while, there were funny moves.  When you raised concerns, they both assured you that it was fine.  Now you have in your wounded hands their wedding card … “wounded in the house of my friends.”

Everyone called him Uncle, and so he was.  Some called him Daddy.  The candies, the vacations, the treats, the many gifts.  You had no fears. Defences were down, then it happened suddenly … now you don’t know what to say, or whom to tell such a tale, and you are unable to hide those public wounded hands of yours… “wounded in the house of my friends.”

She said she loved the Lord. You believed her and opened to her your restricted doors.  You never expected the secret cameras, the blackmails, and the many costs that face you now.  Everyone blames you, except for this one voice that wonders caringly, “What are these wounds in thine hands?”  You are forced to answer: “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”

For the other, it was choir practice, in ‘the house of the Lord.’  She had known too many pains and betrayals outside.  Here, with other Christians like her, she hoped that she had found refuge at last, but there she lost her cherished car, and to other she lost her reputation, and to the other she lost something more; something that should not be told on holy pages …  “wounded in the house of my friends.”

  1. Marks to Show

A few days ago, as I said in the opening lines, I was invited to a church in a foreign land.  Before I got there, I had been shown a woman in the middle of the right row, injured by an insider, counting her days in the church before she would be gone for good.  I was a stranger there, I had less than five minutes to “greet” that church.  I told my tale.  I was later to be told that I had been true.

Like Prophet Ezekiel, I find myself now in a valley of dry bones.  So many wounded everywhere, not by outsiders but by unsuspecting friends in unsuspecting manners in very unsuspecting places, which makes those injuries more bitter.  But as I said to that congregation, sometimes, some injuries have a good purpose, painful though they have been. Jesus resurrected from the tomb with injuries still in His hands.  I wondered how the great power of God that could break the strongholds of death and get Jesus out of the grave did not also take away the wounds in His hands and to His sides; wounds inflicted on Him by those He had come to save (John 1:10-12)!  The message is more fully told in The Preacher’s book entitled The Marks of the Messiah (2019).

The God who raised Jesus from the dead left those wounds, because they were going to be His passport for reaching disciples like Thomas who have vowed that they could not follow anyone who claimed to be a saviour but had no previous wounds of their own to show to those they mean to heal.  Thomas swore, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe” (John 20:25).  The Master heard it, and was going to come for him.

There are many like Thomas that not everybody can help who themselves have not experienced the injuries they hope to heal in others.  Helping such Thomases requires much more than theology and ‘Bible passages.’  They want to see practical and relatable experience (2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Hebrews 4:15; 5:1-2).  Anybody can claim to be a messiah, but the true messiah would not be a manicured and spotless beauty king with no wounds to show.  He would have visible holes in His flesh and a gap in His sides.  When Jesus appeared to the troubled disciples after His resurrection, those were the ID card that He presented to them.

38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?

39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet (Luke 24:38-40).

What was the impact of their seeing His messianic ID card of wounds?  Another account puts it more clearly: “And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his sideTHEN were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” – the wounded Lord (John 20:20).  The same disciples who had been fearful and “troubled,” when He had “shewed them his hands and his side,” were glad and emboldened.  When they had seen those marks, “then” were they glad.

Not every kind of preacher can reach every kind of congregation.  Some will respond only to the injuries you can show, as your right of access to their private pains, bringing your light into those ancient crevices of their untouchable and unreachable worries.

  1. The Joseph Principle

Don’t be mad at every friend who has wounded you.  Sometimes it is the path to greater honour that you might otherwise have never found.  That was the story of Joseph, betrayed and sold off into slavery by his very elder brothers who should have protected him.  Unknown to them, everything they did to abort his dreams were the things to birth those hated dreams.  When they sold him off into Egypt where destiny was sending him, he no more needed a visa or transport fare into that country.  He also did not have to bother about a hotel reservation in that foreign land.  The injury from his brothers wrote off all those requirements.  The merchants who bought him off from his wicked brothers took care of all those requirements.  Years later, he said to the brothers as they began to recover, “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive” (Genesis 50:20).  His feet were “hurt with fetters” and he was “laid in iron” (Psalm 105:18), but those wounds from the house and hands of his friends granted him the rare access into his destined future.

  1. Wounds that Give a Verdict

There are wounds that give a verdict, silencing oppositions.  Saul proudly paraded such wounds.  Of them, he said, “From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus” (Galatians 6:17).  Those were marks of which he could boast; marks from the several bruises received from those to whom he had carried the word of love; injuries inflicted by people for whom he risked his comfort and his life; injuries by which no man was thenceforth going to “trouble” him; injuries that put him beyond certain troubles; injuries that spoke for God; injuries that, for him, were proudly “the marks of the Lord Jesus.

If God has healed your wounds but left the scars, He probably intends them as your visa to certain disciples who otherwise cannot be reached; sincere disciples to whom delicate and manicured apostles would never be sent, as they have no wounds to show.  If, like Him, you have been wounded, in the house of your friends, by the most unlikely of people in the most unlikely of places, cheer up.  You have a unique message for frightened disciples shut up in a room this Resurrection Morning … “And … he shewed unto them his hands and his side. THEN were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” – their wounded Lord (John 20:20).  Amen. You too, show your ID.  Somebody’s gladness awaits the pains you survived.

From The Preacher’s diary,
February 20, 2024.

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Baridilo Legbara Dee
Baridilo Legbara Dee
1 month ago

This is quite sobering and inspiring. Lord, if only my wounds or scars will minister healing to others, then let me have them. Amen.

Bolanle Musa
Bolanle Musa
1 month ago

I thank the Lord for His Ultimate sacrifice and wounds by which salvation is ours and I pray succor from the Lord for all those wounded by friends, family and brethren????. Only who truly has experienced it knows it????.

1 month ago
Reply to  Bolanle Musa

Very correct. Thanks for sharing prayers from your bowels.

1 month ago

Praise God for a message like this at this point in time. May God continue to remind us of the ultimate price paid for our salvation. Bruised for us.

Tonye Oliver
Tonye Oliver
1 month ago

A word that touches the soul

1 month ago

Thankful for the “wounds that give a verdict”.
Yahweh is ever faithful, ever true.

Thank you, Preacher

Esther T. Omu
Esther T. Omu
1 month ago

Wow! Scriptures come alive! Rhema.
There’s truly so many wounds in exposed parts inflicted in the house of our friends the- church, such that, that sister, the other brother, that talented youth & that quiet widow have all said the grace & gone away… Lord have mercy & heal your church.
This verse, I have never seen in this light before now. Thank you.

Nwando Babalobi
Nwando Babalobi
1 month ago

Wounds that shame would hide, wounds privately inflicted in reputedly secure spaces ….but there is God ooo.
God bless you for this piece. God’s purpose will be served by visa-wounds.Such a comfort!!

Uju O’kolie
Uju O’kolie
1 month ago

Powerful words of encouragement. Christ our hope and glory.

Aaron Fapohunda
Aaron Fapohunda
19 hours ago
Awaiting for approval

Thankful for my wounds

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