Summary: Christ Jesus brings us abundant life. We must not lose out by putting up unnecessary barriers to the work of Christ Jesus. The challenge is to watch out. Do not set up our own Sabbath prejudices that stop us from seeing and doing the work of Jesus in t
Luke 13: 10 – 17 – Straightened Up
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 in all seriousness say, “Mister, you better straighten up and fly right.” For a long time I didn’t exactly understand what she meant. I just knew I had better stop what I was doing.
I. Verses 10 & 11 Eighteen years the woman had been bent out of shape and looking at the ground.
A. How did this woman look at things? Her perspective on the world was very limited by her posture. It would have been difficult for her to see where she was going. Here view of people and her entire world would have been different than everyone else.
B. 18 years is a long time to see things from that narrow perspective. It is quite possible that her posture dictated her attitude toward others and her world.
C. Verse 12 & 13 – Not only did the woman have a posture-changing experience with Jesus, the way she saw the world and reacted to it was bound to change as well. She was straightened up physically, mentally and spiritually.
II. You’ve heard the expression often. Perhaps you’ve even used it yourself when you are talking to someone who is angry or indignant over some trivial incident. Why are you so bent out of shape? Of Don’t get bent out of shape.
A. Verse 14 – The synagogue ruler is just such a person. He is bent out of shape, not physically, but he is bent out of shape emotionally and spiritually. He is upset because Jesus has healed on the Sabbath. This man and those like him are more concerned about systems, customs, traditions and petty little laws than a woman who should be helped and healed.
B. The synagogue ruler is referring to the 4th commandment (Exodus 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.”
C. It is tragic but true that more trouble and strife arises in Churches over legalistic details of procedure for we are constantly in peril of loving systems more than we love God and each other.
III. 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 When he appeared the invitation was promptly withdrawn.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 it 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)
A. Verses 15 & 16 – Jesus answers the leader of the synagogue using a principle commonly used among rabbis. He challenges him to reason from the lesser to the greater. --- Since the woman is a daughter of Abraham, should they not do more for her than they would do for an animal?
B. If an animal were bound, they would until it and lead it to water on the Sabbath. Should not this woman be set free on the Sabbath?
C. What prejudices, traditions or legalisms keep you “bent out of shape?” The woman went away rejoicing; the synagogue ruler missed out.
Conclu: Christ Jesus brings us abundant life. We must not lose out by putting up unnecessary barriers to the work of Christ Jesus. The challenge is to watch out. Do not set up our own Sabbath prejudices that stop us from seeing and doing the work of Jesus in the lives of others.