Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: The Kingdom Advances: Freedom for the Captives
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
The Kingdom Advances: Freedom for the Captives
Books – Williams on kingdom
Jesus has gone from teaching that tragedies are meant to awaken us to our need to repent, the fig tree teaching us that God mercifully gives Israel more time to respond to Jesus. Now we find Jesus teaching in a synagogue and freeing a woman who has been disabled by a demonic spirit. This deliverance or healing is a signpost that the kingdom is advancing and gives Israel yet another opportunity to respond.
1. Jesus’ First Encounter: The Woman (vs. 10-13)
By this time Jesus has quite a reputation because of his teaching and healing ministry (See Luke 4:18-19; 32 & 36). As he is teaching in a synagogue, he notices a woman who is bent over and cannot stand up straight. She has had this condition for eighteen years. Her disability has ostracized her and labeled her as a great sinner. Who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind (John 9:20). Instead of looking down on her, as has been her experience for eighteen years, he calls her to himself. He sought her out to give her life and he does that with each one of us.
Picture this scene. No teacher has ever given this woman much notice except that she deserves her disability. Like Jobs friends, she has been accused of and questioned about her sinfulness. In addition to her physical disability, she has emotional and spiritual turmoil. When Jesus calls out to her, her heart soars with hope. As she attempts to stand in front of him, he declares, ‘you are freed from your disability and laying his hands on her she immediately is made straight and erupts in spontaneous worship.’ She worships as she has never worshipped before! God frees her from a demonic spirit and another prisoner has been set free. Jesus came to set the captives free. What freedom do you need today?
The point – Jesus calls us to reach out with compassion to those who are hurting.
2. Jesus’ Second Encounter: The spirit
This woman was afflicted by a demonic spirit. The term, daughter of Abraham, points to her being a believer. I say this because when Zachaeus repents Jesus calls him a son of Abraham.
ESV Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
ESV Galatians 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
I say this to point out that as a believer she had demonic influence in her body. It is interesting that this week I had someone ask me what can demons do to us physically. There are two extremes we can have when it comes to demonic influence: totally dismiss it or see everything as demonic. This woman had not been helped for eighteen years because those called to care for her soul were blind and ignorant to the devils schemes. Let us not be ignorant of his schemes corporately and individually.
Jesus freed this woman as an act of compassion but the larger purpose is to show the kingdom rule and reign is collapsing the power of Satan in the lives of Gods people.
Luke 10:18 And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.
Luke 11:20 But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
1 john 3:8b The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.
It is a signpost that the kingdom is advancing.
The point – Jesus’ saving power is more than enough
to deliver his people from the bonds of Satan.
3. Jesus’ Third Encounter: The Hypocrites (vs. 14-16)
She worships spontaneously, without restraint, dare I say excessively, but the ‘leader is indignant.’ The synagogue ruler was the leader in charge of the order and progress of worship and would be the most educated member present. He was the one in authority and he is not happy at all about what just happened and makes sure everyone knows it. But notice that rather than addressing Jesus, he warns the crowd (14b). God can heal you on any other day but not on the Sabbath! This was his official view of Jesus’ healing. There were all kinds of rabbinic rules against work on the Sabbath though there were some exceptions as Jesus mentions. Jesus calls them hypocrites because they will show an act of compassion for their animals but not lift a finger to help this woman. They would break the Sabbath for their animals but not for this woman! The ruler had no compassion for the woman or her suffering. He was indignant not just because she was healed on the Sabbath but more importantly, I think, because he believed this woman did not deserve this freedom. He, and the religious leaders in general, despised Gods grace because it went to the undeserving.