Summary: Our perspectives and prejudices can cause us to act in a way that is contrary to the spirit of Christ Jesus.
Luke 13: 10 – 17 / Not On The Sabbath!
Intro: When I was a kid, on those RARE occasions when I would be doing something mischievous or irritating to my mother, she would look at me and say, “Mister, you better straighten up.” I didn’t fully understand what she meant. I just knew I had better stop what I was doing.
I. Vs. 11 – “a woman crippled by a spirit” (a spirit of infirmity) What is a “spirit of infirmity?” --- pneuma hastheneias
A. It is one that causes a physical or mental disability in a person. Satan had distorted the image of God in this woman. It was not purely a physical deformity. Luke being a doctor would have described it differently.
B. The woman suffered from a spiritual problem that demonstrated itself as a physical infirmity. --- The woman was bent over by Satan.
C. VS. 16 – “whom Satan has kept bound for 18 years” LOOSED – luthenai – to be untied or set free. (It was legal to untie an animal and lead it to water ---see VS. 15)
II. What is the problem? What was the issue? VS 14a – Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, . . .”
A. The issue wasn’t that Jesus had healed the woman. No one claimed that Jesus’ healing was other than from God. No one disputed that it was a good deed. It was the timing!
B. The woman was “bent out of shape” by Satan! But, the Synagogue ruler was bent out of shape by the law! He was more concerned about systems, customs, traditions and petty little laws than about a woman in distress. More trouble and strife arises in Churches over legalistic details of procedure because we are constantly in peril of loving systems more than we love God and each other.
C. The story is told of a little church that invited a prominent preacher to come and deliver a message to the congregation. When he appeared the invitation was promptly withdrawn. It appears the preacher arrived wearing only a belt on his slacks without suspenders. They had instituted a rule that all preachers had to have both belt and suspenders before they preached because if the belt slipped, the preacher’s trousers would fall down while he was preaching and that would be a scandal. (Sabbath Prejudices by Martin Dale, SermonCentral.com)
III. VS. 14b – “There are 6 days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath. “Blue Laws” used to keep business closed on Sunday. They kept people from doing things that could be done at other times.
A. Synagogue ruler is referring to the 4th commandment (EX 20: 8 – 11) “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the 7th day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God.”
B. The synagogue ruler was as bound to his legalism as the woman was bound by her physical infirmity. Their knowledge of the world was directly related to the way in which they saw it.
C. The woman only saw easily only the ground. The synagogue ruler saw easily only the way of the law. Both needed a change of perspective to see the world as it really was.
Conclu: For the woman and the ruler it took an encounter with Christ Jesus for them to see things clearly. The same is true for us. We must filter our understanding of the world around us through the eyes of Christ, seeing things from His perspective instead of our own.