Summary: Jesus as His custom was, went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day. Let us not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is. But let us gather together to seek the Lord’s blessing in worship and fellowship.
We Gather Together to Seek the Lord’s Blessing
Scripture: Luke 13:10-17
Text: Luke 4:16, “As His custom was He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day.”
Jesus spent His Sabbaths in two ways. When there was a public service in the synagogue He attended and took part in it. The rest of the day as spent in doing good to all within His reach. These two things express the right spirit of Christianity and the right method of keeping the Lord’s day. And in these practices Jesus set an example all Christians should follow.
I. We see in these verses an example of one who came to church seeking the Lord’s blessing.
Vs. II: “And behold there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity 18 years and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself.”
A. We do not know who this woman was. We only know that Jesus was teaching in the synagogue and this woman was int eh congregation. She had not used her physical condition as an excuse for missing the service, in spite of her deformity and the trial of being gawked at by strangers. She had come to the place where the word of God was taught and where God’s people met together. She did not forsake the assembly of those who sought God’s blessing. And truly, her faithful attendance was rewarded.
She came sorrowing but went home rejoicing. Came suffering and went home healed. Came with a burden but went home singing and rejoicing. Had she missed that service, she would have missed the blessing of Jesus, for we have no record that He ever went back to that synagogue again.
B. The churchgoing habit of this handicapped woman may well put to shame many strong and healthy professing Christians. Many in the full enjoyment of their faculties allow the most flimsy excuses to keep them away from God’s house.
Giving alibis is a great tradition of human beings. A pastor of the United Lutheran Synod of New York chose a unique way to show up the absurdity of most excuses for non attendance at church. He published in his church bulletin “The reasons I don’t go to the movies.”:
“Because my parents made me go as a boy. Because no one speaks to me when I am there. Because they always want money. Because the manager never visited me in my home. Because the people who go there never live up to what the movies teach anyway.” Many Christians use Sunday to read the Sunday paper, to loaf, pleasure think is enough to attend once on Sunday and regard a 2nd attendance as needless. So many regard church attendance as pure weariness; giving restless looks at the clock and showing great relief when benediction is said. So few in our day know anything of David’s sp., when he said, (Ps 122:1) “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord!” Ps 84:1, “How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts.”
An old woman dreadfully crippled with rheumatism used to hobble to church on two canes. How do you manage it? asked a friend. She said, “My heart gets there first and my old legs follow on after.”
C. What is the reason for such apparent indifference? Why do many lack the zeal of this good woman in coming to the House of God? The answer is not hard to find; they have no heart for God’s house or God’s service, nor for God’s day or God’s presence. Once God is enthroned in the heart, these fancied difficulties vanish away. Our feelings about the Lord’s day, shows the state of our souls. Will a man rob God of His glory, of His worship?
A Chinese preacher speaking of robbing God used this illustration. It came to pass that a man went to market with a string of seven coins. Seeing a beggar who asked for alms, he gave him 6 coins and kept one for himself. The beggar, instead of being thankful, followed the good man and stole the seventh coin also. What a detestable wretch. Yes, God has give us six days. Are we stealing the other day also? If we cannot enjoy a few hours together each week in God’s worship, it is very plain that we cannot enjoy an eternity in His presence in the world to come. Happy are they who walk in the steps of this daughter of Abraham and attend public worship. In God’s house we shall honor Him and find peace, as she said.
II. We see also in these verses the Almighty power of the Lord Jesus to meet one’s need.
A. We are told that when He saw the suffering woman, He called her to Him and said unto her, “Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” and He laid hands on her. A miracle followed his touch. A condition of 18 years’ standing was healed. “Immediately she was made straight and glorified God.” Jesus proved His willingness to help. He no doubt heard the unspokent request of her heart as He hears our unspoken request. His heart was drawn to her need as it is drawn to our need. With Christ nothing is impossible.