Jesus is the Son of Man
Love the People
Note: It has come to my attention that my sermon posts from Nov ’21 through the begining of Feb ’22 have been lost. So i will be reposting them here, meaning they wont necessarily be in the order they were preached and recorded. THank you for your understanding)
All right! Let’s turn in our Bibles to Luke chapter 13. As usual, if you do not have a Bible, or you need a Bible, please see me after the service and we will try to get one into your hands.
Now, as we look at where we have been, we see that Jesus has been teaching and preaching to his disciples, the people following him and those opposing him. He has been trying to get their attention, to focus them on eternity and the kingdom of God. And not just generally, but so that they would know the right way to understanding the Word of God.
Jesus has been trying to tell the people about the promised Messiah, the Savior whom God promised to the people all the way back in Genesis and every chance he got through the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi. He was telling the people; this is Who the Messiah is (Him) and this is how you are saved from the wrath of God because of your Sins. As he said in our passage last week, Repent and Believe or perish.
We are going to see how this belief affects how we see the people around us as we read this week’s passage. We will be looking at Luke chapter 13, verses 10 through 17. Ill be reading out of the English Standard Version and I greatly encourage you to pick up your Bible, in your preferred translation and follow along as I read the Word of God.
Luke 13:10-17, Luke, inspired by the Holy Spirit writes:
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
Thus says the Word of God.
SO, first thing, we see that Jesus is teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Of course, if you have paid attention to any of the accounts of the Gospels, you know that conflict lies ahead.
Now, it was the custom of the time to invite travelling and visiting rabbis to read and expound upon the text on the Sabbath. That what happened here. Jesus was traveling and whatever village he was visiting, he stood up on the Sabbath, read the text of the morning and started to expound on it.
Sometimes we see that the issue is the text the He chooses to read. Here we see that it is what Jesus does on the Sabbath that causes the issues. Time and time again, Jesus has fought with the Pharisees and the legalistic sects of the Jewish people regarding the right understanding and the right practice of keeping the Sabbath. That’s what we see more of today.
On that particular Sabbath, there was a woman who was there. She had been disabled for 18 years, she couldn’t stand up straight, the issue was so debilitating. From what we read, this woman wasn’t there to ask for healing perse, though she was probably praying for it. Instead, she was there to worship the God of Israel and to learn from the Rabbi more about the Word of God.
Jesus saw her. He called her over to him. He spoke to her, laid hands on her, told her she was freed from this disability and then waited a while to see if she would be healed? No! She stood up straight and glorified God!
Jesus said she was healed, and she was immediately healed! We have seen time and time again that when Jesus heals someone, its not a gradual healing, its not a partial and eventual healing, instead its an instant and complete healing. Just like this lady.
Now, the ruler of the synagogue, he takes issue with what Jesus did here. His issue was not necessarily because Jesus healed this lady, but, at least presumably, because he did it on the Sabbath.
He says that she could have come and gotten healed any of the other days of the week. But there was no place for that in the synagogue in the Sabbath. It was interesting to me as I was reading this and studying this, how often we do the same thing.
No, I don’t mean if someone were miraculously healed here this morning, we would take issue with it. But how often do we have the right reasons for doing the wrong things? How often do we have the right reasons for being unloving? How often do we have the right reasons for doing destructive and unbiblical things?
That’s exactly what this synagogue ruler was doing. He was trying to preserve the holiness of the Sabbath. Exodus 20:8-11 lays this out for us:
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
And this command was taken for thousands of years at its most literal and in its most extreme. There were no room for exceptions or for compassion in these instances. His idea of what constituted work on the Sabbath was not to be questioned and was the only possibly right interpretation.
We have churches today that have the same mindset. Come in, sit down, be quiet, dress like us, look like us, think like us and believe like us. If you don’t, we won’t necessarily be outwardly mean or rude, but we will make it clear that you don’t belong here. These churches really do exist today.
There are churches that think that they don’t have to go out in the community and meet people where they are. They think that if these people really wanted to know God, or if God really wanted them to know Him, they would walk through those doors right there and conform to the ways of the church. We don’t have to care enough to go to them, they should care enough to come to us.
This synagogue ruler is saying, this lady should not have come here to be healed today, there are 6 other days of the week that this could have happened. But here and now, at church is not the time or the place.
(I have often had people not make it to service, show up here afterwards and talk to me about very serious issues in their lives, showing a desire to get answers and direction. It would be easy for us to say, they should have come for the service if they really wanted to be blessed by God or to know His will, or to whatever. I have never once seen or heard that form this church and I thank you for that.)
The synagogue ruler interpreted this lady being healed as work being done. And there was not to be any work done on the Sabbath. But his, and many in that day, their interpretation was nitpicky, to say the least.
Jesus points out the hypocrisy going on here. This man would work to make sure his animals were fed and watered. But would not allow this? HE says, you work by redefining what work is when it benefits you, but won’t have any compassion for this situation, or any other that doesn’t fit into their box.
How many of us, I don’t need hands or anything, but how many of us live by the perceived command, it is wrong to work on Sundays? Now, don’t get me wrong, if possible, I encourage you not to work on Sunday, mornings at least. That is when we meet as a church family to worship our God and get together, praying for each other, praising each other, bearing each other’s burdens and so on. It’s the most important day of the week for sure. But is that a command from God? And then so many who live by that command go out to eat after church and put to work waiters and cooks and so on.
My point is not that it is right or wrong to work on Sunday or that it is right or wrong to go out to eat after church on Sunday. My point is that we often will pick and choose when the rules are taking literally and how we interpret them based on how they affect us or how we look upon following them.
And also, we need to not take the commands of God in the Old Testament out of context and apply them wholesale, without looking at them, to our lives today. Sometimes it can be that simple. But sometimes, as with the Sabbath, Jesus spends much of his ministry correcting misunderstandings and providing more context for the purpose and application of those commands of God. We are wrong if we do not look at what Jesus has to say before we decide how it applies to us.
And one of the things that we see Jesus saying is what better day for this to occur than the Sabbath! Again, correcting their misunderstanding. This woman had been suffering for 18 years! 18 years ago, I was not a Christian, too bushy living it up with no motivation to have a job any better than the one I had that provided a roof over my head, food in my belly and beer in my hand.
For 18 years this lady could not stand up straight. For 18 years, she was in constant pain. The way it reads to me, for 18 years she came and worshipped God in the synagogue. Faithfully. She did not ask for healing that morning form Jesus, though, again, she may and likely was praying to God about it. But she was there worshipping God through her suffering, in spite of her suffering, and maybe because of her suffering, meaning that her suffering was driving her to lean on and depend on God.
Jesus took compassion on this woman, healed her and said what better day than the day of the LORD for her bondage to Satan be broken, for her to be freed from the chains of this disability. What perfect timing, both for her physically and symbolically of the power of the LORD on His day.
And some of the people, led by this synagogue ruler, could not even be happy for her. They could not even rejoice in her healing. They couldn’t even praise God for his good works.
And for this, Jesus rebuked them. And in verse 17, we see that there are two different reactions to this healing that Jesus did. All those who were against him and were against the healing, were put to shame. But it says that all the people rejoiced at the glorious things that God did. This is of course, not every single individual, because it is directly contrasted with those who were against the healing.
The point is that we have two choices when we see God at work. We can criticize it. We can ignore it or reject because that’s not the way it should be done or that’s not the way we would do it. We can look at and say,
That’s not the right type of person.
That’s not the right tradition.
They are not wearing the right clothes.
They are not speaking the right languages.
They are not supporting the right politics.
They are not the right anything.
Or, we can say, “Look at the great work that the LORD is doing! Let us praise him and rejoice in him and worship him.” One of the 5 solas of the Reformation, Soli Deo Gloria, To God alone be the Glory.
As we often sing, let there be glory and honor and praises, glory and honor to Jesus.
Let us search ourselves often and ensure that we are rejoicing in the good work that the LORD is doing, instead of leaning on our own understanding and unintentionally and inadvertently having the seemingly right reasons to do the wrong things. Nothing would be worse than thinking we are working for the LORD and turns out we are actually working against him.
Let us be the people who rejoiced in the LORD instead of the ones who were so intent on fighting for what was right that they ended up fighting against the very work that God is doing and fighting against those who were adopted in Gods family.
Let us pray for these things.