January 22, 2018
Luke 13:10-16… Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had a disabling spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And He laid his hands on her and immediately she was made straight and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are 6 days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not reach one of you, on the Sabbath, untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
This story has all the drama of human suffering and all the beauty of God’s intervention. And then it has the ongoing drama of human response to God’s power. Jesus clears the air, but disbelieving people don’t listen to Him. The disbelieving people in this story were the rulers of the synagogue… the religious leaders of the people. Jesus called them “Hypocrites!” Leaders have a special place in the church. They are under strict rules about encouraging faith and not being unbelieving. Jesus spoke often to the Pharisees, even though they opposed him; He knew the power they wielded. Leaders ought not to stand in the way of people in their quest to know God. This story shows the priority that God puts on individuals. On Sunday, Pastor Sarah made reference to knowing Jesus. When she said it I heard in my spirit, “Do you know Jesus?” I know a bit about him and I think I know His expectations of me, but do I know Him? That was a tough question for me to answer; and I ask you today. “Do you know Jesus?” That is the very essence of the Christian life… knowing Him and being known by Him. Religious activities must come from that relationship; they are not done to get that relationship. Know Jesus. Figure out what that means to you. I know things about certain football players, but I don’t know them. We don’t know someone by reading a book about them; it’s more than that.