Friday, July 1, 2016

Luke 13:10-17

Luke 13:10-17
And He was teaching in one synagogue on the Sabbath.  And behold!  There was a woman having a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years.  And she was bent over and not being powerful enough to straighten herself up perfectly.  And after seeing her, Jesus called and said to her, “Woman, you have been released from your infirmity.”  And He laid hands upon her.  And immediately she was being straightened and she was glorifying God.  Answering, the ruler of the synagogue, being indignant because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, was speaking to the crowd that, “There are six days in which it is necessary to do work, therefore be healed coming in those days and not on the days of the Sabbath.”  And the Lord answered him and said, “Does not each of you untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and after leading it away give it water to drink?  And while being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan bound eighteen years, is it not necessary to unbind her from her bondage on the day of a Sabbath?”  And while He said this, all the ones who opposed Him were ashamed.  And the whole crowd rejoiced upon all the glorious things that became by Him.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

You will notice in this story that there is an element of human contact in Jesus’ act.  Of course, this isn’t necessary.  Jesus doesn’t have to touch someone for them to be healed.  Remember the faith of the centurion, who told Jesus that He didn’t need to come to his house to heal his servant?  Jesus can heal from afar if He desires.  Therefore, I think that this touch is not a required at but an act of human compassion.  Jesus wants the sick and the outcast to feel like they have a friend. Everyone needs someone to whom they can get close.  So Jesus touches them to make sure that they have that moment.  But I think that there is still more to it.  Jesus is making a statement of power here.  In Jesus’ day, coming into contact with someone who was sick of afflicted could potentially affect your religious purity.  Jesus is making a statement that it doesn’t matter.  He is greater than religious purity.  Nothing makes Jesus unclean.  When Jesus comes into contact with something, it is not Jesus who is changed but the thing with which He made contact.

Are you ever afraid of being affected by the sinfulness around you?  When is that helpful?  When is that a hindrance?

Second Thought:

Once again someone becomes indignant with Jesus because He is not conforming to the expected norm.  I really struggle with this point as well.  There are so many times that a person will do something incredible and help draw people into the presence of God; yet I find myself being critical of them in my mind.  Sometimes it is jealousy.  Sometimes it is arrogance that I know better.  Sometimes it is just plain old bad judgment on my part.  But the reality is that I don’t always get it right.  Sometimes I am critical of methodology or timing and blind to the fruit being born for the kingdom.  That’s wrong.  Those are moments where I need to repent.

When are you wrong with respect to other people and their response to God’s calling?  How can you be aware of moments when you are most likely to be wrong?  How can you know when to be discerning and when to be accepting?

Third Thought:

Jesus makes an incredible analogy.  Every good Jewish person knows that they have to take their animals, release them from their pens, and allow them to eat and drink.  Everyone who has animals knows you have to care for your animals every day of the week.  You can’t take a day off when things are in your care.  Not that I intend to compare children to animals, but parents know this, too.  Parenting is a 7-day a week job.  You don’t get a day off.  The same thing is true about God.  He isn’t going to take a day off caring for us.  He isn’t going to turn people away because it’s the wrong day.  He’s there for us always.  Praise be His name, because He is always there.  That’s Jesus’ point.

Can you profess that God has always been there for you?  What does it mean to you that God doesn’t take a day off?  Why do you think Jesus’ opponents here would be ashamed because of their thoughts and reasoning?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 13:18-21
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