Summary: This sermon will produce rejoicing in people who have seen Jesus’ work in the lives of others.
Title: “People Rejoice for All the Glorious Things Jesus Does .”
10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
A clergyman once met the comedian Groucho Marx. “Mr. Marx,” said the clergyman, “I want to thank you for all the enjoyment you’ve given to the world.”
The acid tongue Marx replied. “And I want to thank you for all the joy you have taken out of it!”
(Michael J. Brooks. “The Meaning of Christmas: Joy” Proclaim: The Pastor’s Journal for Biblical Preaching. The Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. Nashville, TN. O-N-D, 1989. P. 32.)
Those who are followers of Jesus observe HIM at work in the lives of others and rejoice when they see it. And those who are opponents of Jesus see the same events in the lives of others, deny it as a work of the Lord, and attempt to prevent it from recurring. This pattern can be observed in the pages of the New Testament, and this same pattern continues to be observed in 2002. This passage prompts those of us who are followers of Jesus to rejoice as HE does glorious things.
1. Reaction to Jesus Work that Does for Others. V. 14.
This synagogue ruler had not anticipated the healing of the woman. She had been infirm for 18 years. Verse 18 says the ruler “answered with indignation.” Luke uses the word answered. The ruler’s response to the work Jesus had done was indignation. Guesses can be made as to the reason for the indignation. Perhaps, as ruler of the synagogue, he considered it inappropriate to do the work without consulting him. His task was to enlist people to read the scripture and pray and lead in worship in other ways. His permission for healing had not been sought. He was indignant.
Observe, also in verse 14, that the ruler of the synagogue says to the people, “there are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, not on the sabbath.” Can I ask a question? Why is he talking to the people? There is no evidence that this woman came to the synagogue expecting to be healed. She came to worship. She did not come to receive. She came to give. Had she not come to give, she would not have received. Why is he talking to the people? Had the people done something to bring about the healing of this woman? There is not any report of that here. The ruler’s indignation, expressed toward the people, is really indignation toward Jesus and for what HE has done.
And these people whom the ruler of the synagogue is addressing, had not come to be healed. They had come to worship on the sabbath, as they were commanded to do. The ruler says to them, “There are six days on which men are to do their work; in them therefore come and be healed...” This healing was not man’s work. In eighteen years no man has done the work. This is not the work of a man. This is the work of Jesus. And it was unexpected by the ruler of the synagogue. So he is indignant.
The reaction, the criticism of Jesus’ unexpected work may have come from some jealousy in the ruler. The power of the Lord had not such personal benefit to him, as it had to the crippled woman. Since he was regarded as such a good man by all the members of the synagogue, he could have expected that if the Lord was going to do anything for someone, it would be for him. Surely the one others regarded as the most religious would be the one for whom the Lord worked. He was mistaken; Jesus did not to a mighty work for him, but for someone else. That unexpected work of Jesus drew a reaction from the ruler of the synagogue.