Summary: Christ-like Christians are a blessing to God and a delight to others.
Title: Do unChristians Find Us unChristian?
Text: Luke 13:10-17
Thesis: Christ-like Christians are a blessing to God and a delight to others.
The story of “The Trojan Horse” comes to us out of Greek mythology. It is the story of how the Greeks laid siege to the ancient city of Troy which, at that time was a major crossroads between Europe and Asia. For ten years the Greek navy and army attempted to breach the walls of Troy but were unsuccessful. So they decided to pull-a-fast-one in a last ditch attempt to get into the city.
The Greeks then built a huge wooden horse that was to serve as a victory trophy for the Trojans. They hid 30 elite soldiers inside the horse, towed it up to the city gates, boarded their ships and sailed away. The next day the people of Troy opened their gates and rolled the horse into the city to celebrate their victory over the Greeks.
However, that night the Greeks sailed back into the harbor and the men inside the horse climbed down, opened the city gates and let the invading Greek army into the city of Troy and the Trojans were defeated.
A “Trojan Horse” has come to refer to any trick or strategy used to get a target to invite an enemy or a foe into what is meant to be a secure place. It is a ruse.
That’s why we don’t let anyone we don’t know into our homes. Deliverymen aren’t always deliverymen so-to-speak. People and things are not always who and what they appear to be.
Those use computers know that if you receive an e-mail from someone you do not know or a suspicious spam or pop-up, you do not open them… you delete them immediately and send them packing to the trash bin. The e-mails and pop-ups often look and sound very good but they are actually mal-ads or malicious ads. They are viruses that look good but once in your computer they search for and steal personal information and/or infect and destroy your programs.
These viruses look good but inside they are malicious and evil in their intent. They say they love you but they don’t act like they love you.
In our story today Jesus spoke very pointedly to a man and those in sympathy with that man’s brand of spirituality and called them “hypocrites.” They were Trojan Horses. They were mal-ads, i.e., malicious advertisements for their faith.
In our story today Jesus demonstrates what it means to be Christ-like while another religious leader demonstrates what it is like to be a mal-ad for his faith. Jesus shows us that the Christ-like person sees people.
I. Followers of Christ “see” people.
On the Sabbath Jesus was teaching… and woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her… Luke 13:10-11
It is the Sabbath and Jesus is teaching. A woman Luke described as having suffered the crippling affects of an illness for eighteen years. She is described as bent so severely that she could not straighten up. For eighteen years she suffered the crippling affects of some form of degenerative disease in her spine.
The story is featured in the artwork on the front of your worship folder where we see the bent woman leaning on a cane, the sympathizing Christ and the happy people in the background.
We’ve seen folks with a similar malady. They are bent and a bit twisted at the waist. They look miserable and you wonder if it is just inconvenient and a little uncomfortable or if they are suffering excruciating pain.
I doubt that she was trying to draw attention to herself. I imagine it took a good deal of courage and internal fortitude for her to get up and out and go to church. It would have been much easier to stay home. I doubt she liked having people notice her and then quickly avert their eyes so as to not stare at her as she made her way. Unless a person is a total narcissist who enjoys having others observe their misery, most of us do not care to be spectacles.
Her infirmity is said to have been caused by an evil spirit. In other words, Satan had made her sick. We know Satan can do that. Those familiar with the story of Job know that Satan is willing to destroy our health in order to get us to falter in our faith.
Unfortunately, health often defines who we are. She was a crippled woman. But Jesus saw her as a woman who was crippled.
• We can see a diabetic or we can see a person who has diabetes.
• We can see a stroke victim or we can see a person who has had a stroke and needs to use a walker.