Summary: How love can heal.
Healing – A Touch of Love Part 2
Last week I covered part one of this series. I shared with you the test that was done in England at one of the orphanages and how they found that babies and children needed to be touched in love. Those babies that were hugged would get better when they became sick. Also, those babies who did not receive hugs would get sick and sometimes die. I stressed to you that we are not unlike those babies and we too need to be touched and loved. With that opening, we went to Luke chapter 13 where Jesus acted in love when He healed the woman who was being afflicted by a demonic spirit. This demon caused the woman to be so bent over that she could not look up. When Jesus saw her, He called her forward and He touched her, healing her body and delivering her from the demonic spirit. Since this was done in Church where the religious leaders were, you would think that they would have been rejoicing to see the power of God exhibited in their presence, yet this was not the case. Let us return to Luke chapter 13 to complete this message titled “Healing – A Touch of Love”.
I. The Religious Leader’s Response
As we take up from last week, Jesus had just completed healing the woman when the religious leaders approached Him. Let’s look at verse 14.
Verse 14: “But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, ‘There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”
Can you imagine the look on Jesus’ face when this official said this? Can you imagine how the woman felt when she heard this? She had been coming to this Church more over 18 years, faithfully, and when she is healed, one of her leaders gets upset about it. This is why Jesus hates religion when practiced in such a way that God is not invited to be a part of it. And this is why we should hate it also. The healing took place on the Sabbath and the official (as did other religious leaders) viewed it as “works” and, according to Exodus 31:12-17, works were forbidden on the Sabbath. The religious leaders, by their oral traditions, had elevated the Sabbath to a place that no longer resembled God’s original intent. This is why Jesus made the following statement in Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law; justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” Their traditions and actions were more important to them than the actual fulfillment of God’s will in their services.
For 18 years this woman had come to the synagogue and for 18 years, by their action the religious leaders had told her: NOT TODAY. Performing our rituals and our traditions are what we’re here for today. Healing is not part of the agenda. In fact, this ruler was so arrogant that he said there are six other days on which she could be healed. “Pick any of those days but not the Sabbath!” But for 18 years she had lived with this demon controlling her body. 18 years! During that time, she had seen 936 Sabbaths come and go – days the synagogue ruler said were not available for healing. During that time, she had seen 5,634 non-Sabbath days come and go – days the synagogue ruler said were available for healing. And yet, the woman never received healing. Her house of worship was a place of activity, not a place where the power of God was manifested. We have people in the Church today who feel the same way this official felt. When people come down for prayer they say “There goes brother or sister so and so going down for prayer AGAIN.” Or their thoughts betray them when the pastor opens up for anyone to come down for prayer and they begin to look at their watches because the service will run over just a little. Sometimes we actually over look all of the good someone is doing to complain about the one small thing that they may not do. I warn you this morning, if you are listening to the lies of Satan, you will eventually become a hypocrite. Coming to Church and following the “program” will be more important than ministering to the needs of others. Getting out on time is more important than praying for the sick or those who are hurting. Getting my one and a half hour in on Sundays and my one hour in on Wednesday nights alleviates my guilt about going to “Church.” If this describes you, and you are too busy to work on your personal relationship with God so you can only afford Him two and a half hours a week, you are a hypocrite. You are pretending, and doing a good job I might add, but your heart is still far from your Father.