Summary: This sermon begs the question... "What should we do on a Sunday?"
Luke 13:10-17 10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." 15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
“What’s a Sunday for?”
Trouble in the text:
Jesus: (Jesus tries to heal the crippled woman) My poor woman, why don’t you come over here so I can help you.
Ruler: Uh… I’m sorry Mr. Jesus… but uh… you can’t do that!
Jesus: Uh… why not?
Ruler: Because were in church!
Jesus: So I’m not supposed to help people in church.
Ruler: Not on Sunday anyway… nobody gets anything out of Sunday’s here. Come back tomorrow on Monday, our office hours are 8am to…
Jesus: Office hours? Really.
Ruler: Sure… would you like to make an appointment.
Jesus: No… that’s quite alright… I’m just going to go ahead and heal her now.
Ruler: You can’t do that.
Jesus: Why not?
Ruler: Please don’t tell me this is going to turn into one of those “Whose on First bits” I already told you… because this is Church and this is Sunday.
Jesus: So, I’m not allowed to glorify God by curing, saving, or helping anybody, in a church… on a Sunday?
Ruler: That’s right. You’ve got it now.
Jesus: So what is Sunday for then?
Ruler: Well Joe uses it to catch up on his sleep. The rest of us sit quietly and pretend to listen to the pastor. Then we go home and watch this amazing new game the kids have invented passing this pointy ball to each other. That’s what Sunday’s are for.
Jesus: And what about the sick, the poor, those who are in desperate need of help and love?
Ruler: Oh, they can watch the game too!
Jesus: That’s it… I can’t take it anymore. Woman… you are set free from your infirmity.
Ruler: Great… Just great. You’ve helped somebody… in a church… ON a Sunday! What is the world coming to? This isn’t what Sunday’s are for!
Jesus: So… what is Sunday for?
What IS Sunday for? Jesus always seems to find a fight doesn’t he? Wherever he goes… whatever he does… it seems there is some conflict that is waiting for him. Even here, in our passage today, he is at church… teaching… in the middle of giving the sermon perhaps… when he stops dead in his tracks to heal a woman who has been crippled for eighteen years. The religious authorities take exception to that, and call Jesus out. Healing this woman, is going to cause… yet another crisis. Though… I’m sure Jesus thought… “If healing this woman causes a crisis… than a crisis it has to be.” You see… this town needed a little help understanding what Sunday’s were for.