Luke13: 10-17Written by kathleen on Feb 09, 2014 in - No Comments
Our scripture passage tells us a story of a woman who is burdened. This woman is weighed down under the circumstances of her life
Just like today there are things that are weighing people down; making them feel defeated and even depressed!
I’m talking about those things in your life that sap your strength and vitality, and your energy
It Could be a continual sin that you just can’t lick? Or feeling like an outcast at work or at school; or looking into your future and see nothing but a question mark
It may even go as far as some of you may have a dysfunctional friend or relative who completely drains you because of their life controlling habits!
Over the past several weeks we’ve seen how Jesus has come to usher in the kingdom of God into our present reality through the power of the Holy Spirit.
We’ve seen that both Jesus’ teaching and his miracles proclaim the arrival of this kingdom and bring forth a fire in the individual’s heart and changes in their lives
Today I want to begin by looking at what’s going on here with the Spock Approach; in the Star Treck Series Spock, being a Vulcan is the very logical one that see’s everything extremely logical. So as we see in this text a miracle done by Jesus and how it proclaims the freedom from bondage in a woman’s life that it should be very logical to us that He will do the same for us when we understand that by his resurrection that we are freed from bondage in the spirit, and that we are freed from bondage to the law of religion, and ultimately we are freed so that we may respond with praise and rejoicing in the mighty acts of God.
#1 Freedom comes with a touch from Jesus
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.
If you’ve ever seen a woman with this condition, you know it’s got to be painful. You see it most often in elderly women who didn’t get enough calcium over the years, and the vertebrae in her spine fused together so that she was unable to stand up straight. It’s a painful condition, and the poor woman in this story had endured it for 18 years.
Now notice something else. In verse 11, Luke attributes this condition to a spirit. The KJV translates the Greek much more explicitly, calling it a “spirit of infirmity.”
Luke is telling us that this woman had much more than a physical problem. In this case, the pain and her condition were influenced by an evil spirit. Please note that this is not demon possession like we saw with the Gerasene demoniac. Rather, this is more like the torment that Job endured when Satan afflicted his body.
Upon entering a situation, some have an eye to see what’s wrong. Others have an eye to see what’s right. Jesus has an eye to see who’s in need.
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.
Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever and the response we see here is she’s glorifying God and rejoicing in his works
The woman does not call attention to herself, crying out, “Lord Jesus, have mercy on me.” No. Jesus notices her, and calls out to her, and then Jesus frees her from her bondage with a word and a touch.
Jesus has no problem ministering to this woman’s need and with a single simple touch from Jesus He shows complete mastery over demons, sickness, and disease even when for eighteen years, the work of the Enemy had her bound physically.
One thing that should not go unnoticed is that here she was in the synagogue.
Just think she would have missed the moment of the most miraculous event in her life had she stayed home the day Jesus “just happened” to make an appearance in church.
I can recall specific times in my own life when I didn’t want to go to a Bible study or a church service but I went anyway and experienced Jesus ministering to me in a way I’m convinced He wouldn’t have otherwise. Therefore, I have learned this secret: The more I don’t feel like meeting with the congregation, the more I need to be there.
Besides that it is an imperative statement found in Heb 10:24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. 25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I am convinced that people walk around needlessly crippled because they’re not in the company of believers, not in the place where Jesus is Heb 2:11-12 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises.”
When we come together to worship—be it for an hour on Friday night, a couple of hours on Sunday evening, or for a song or two before a Bible Study on Tuesday—Jesus is not only the object of our worship. He is also a participant in our worship—singing praise to the Father right alongside us.
#2 Freedom in Jesus concurs fear
Jesus relates to us in so many ways! As our Brother, Jesus sings praise with us. As our Savior Jesus died for us—that we might be delivered from the burdens and fear that hinders us.
You see, life is like reading a murder mystery. All through their journey of life, people know they’re going to get murdered—maybe not in the physical sense, but they worry that the relationship is going to die, that they’ll be fired, or that the cancer will return. Thus, there is an understandable fear that haunts everyone.
Jesus came to set us free from the fear of death. He say “Let Me put you out of your misery,” “Die.” “What?” “Yeah; If any man come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, for this is the way to be free
Taking up one’s cross doesn’t mean suffering from hay fever, foot problems, a heart murmur, or even cancer. Taking up your cross means that you ARE WILLING TO identify with Jesus to the point of suffering and shame, rejection, and perhaps even death.
Taking up your cross is something you choose to do, not something you put up with. It’s a choice to deny yourself, a determination that, no matter what, you’ll stand for Jesus.
And, as always, He’s right. If you don’t believe me, go to a funeral home, and sneak around the viewing rooms. Whisper into the ears of the corpses; “You’re going to get killed. The relationship isn’t going to work out. The finances aren’t going to come through. You’re not going to get the promotion”—and you’ll find it won’t bother them a bit because they’re already dead.
By freeing this woman from the evil spirit holding her captive physically; Jesus demonstrates his authority over the spiritual realm. He is demonstrating that the kingdom has come and the truth that Satan has been bound and the kingdom of God is victorious.
Think back to chapter 11 when the Pharisees accused Jesus of being in league with demons and Jesus replied, “But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come to you.” Then he went on to ask, “How can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man?” The strong man is Satan.
Jesus has bound Satan, and Jesus unbinds those who trust in him. The kingdom has come and has freed us from spiritual bondage!
Not only have we been freed from spiritual bondage, but we’ve also been freed from bondage to the law as we will see in the next verse.
#3 There is freedom from religion, tradition, and the law
Jesus is making the point that something greater than a physical healing is going on here as the synagogue leader talks about the finer points of the Law while Jesus talks about freedom from bondage of religion and its law
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? Animals were special
The religious leaders objected, saying that Jesus broke the Sabbath. He was angry. But it’s interesting that he didn’t express his anger toward Jesus but he expressed it towards the people.
This guy looked at healing as a work as a violation of the Sabbath day that you’re not to do any work. This healing of a godly woman caused the ruler of the synagogue to become indignant.
He was more concerned about observing religious traditions than in seeing human need touched by God’s Spirit and responds in a very interesting way. He doesn’t address Jesus; he addresses the crowd. He doesn’t refute what Jesus has done; he says, “Here is my teaching.”
So what we see is a battle of two authorities: the synagogue leader desperately trying to hold on to his control by binding the people to his narrow interpretation of the Law that is based on good works and tradition and Jesus is proclaiming freedom –freedom to follow the intent of the law because of a heart change of thankfulness based on the position of love for what He has done for us.
The language that the synagogue leader uses is the word therapeuo and is the word for healing. Jesus, however, keeps coming back to the words luo and apoluo – the words for releasing and loosing the bonds.
Jesus is making the point that something greater than physical healing is going on here. Yes, there is healing, but there is also something more than healing, there’s the freedom that you get too not that you got too!
Think about Paul’s whole message in Galatians about freedom from bondage under the Law. He culminates with the phrase in Galatians 5:1 “It was for freedom we have been set free.” It seems that Jesus, in his challenge to the teachers of the Law, is making the same point.
John 8:31-32 Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Jesus has shown his authority over Satan by casting out demons, providing physical healing and now he shows his authority by refuting the teachers of the Law declaring the kingdom has come and he’s bound the strong man and freed us from spiritual bondage, physical bondage, and bondage to the law.
Back to the Spock approach!
What logical relevance does that have to those burdens we mentioned earlier that make life weary and difficult? What does Christ’s victory hold for us? What hope does he offer?
The woman in the story is freed from her physical affliction, but we live every day with the fact that life can be difficult!
Whether it’s with the burden of having a life controlling habit, a loved one rejecting Christ as Savior, or being the outcast at work or the pain of losing a loved one or just being lonely
In one sense, we all know that the freedom will be fully attained in the new heavens and the new earth. Christ, through his death, resurrection, and enthronement at the right hand of God, will lift our burdens. We will enjoy the fullness of abundant life with him.
But I want to suggest to you that logically the freedom that Jesus brings works for us right here and now Jesus frees us to be more than our burdens.. In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus says, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
So many people let their burdens define them, and they are bound to these definitions. In effect, their lives become centered around their burden, and they shape their whole identity around that burden.
Jesus says it doesn’t have to be that way. In Christ we have a new identity. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life begins!
We’re not just some poor actor strutting on the stage of life until the curtain comes down. We become the children of God!
#4 Freedom brings us a new identity
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?”
The emphasis is; Jesus is saying she must be loosed more than she ought to be loosed.
It’s very significant that Jesus challenges the leader of the synagogue and calls the woman a “daughter of Abraham.”
She now has an identity that is greater than her burdens – it’s the identity that gave her hope after those 18 years of suffering, and that was the identity of being a child of her Father, the identity of being special to God, the identity of being the apple of God’s eye.
The world can burden you. The world and the things of life can weigh you down and abuse you and can even take away your life. But it can’t take away your freedom and identity to live as a child of God.
When Jesus touches someone addicted to drugs, alcohol, sexual perversion, or any other sin, there comes a moment when he or she is made straight Immediately
For some that might sound too simplistic. I’ve seen it happen to know that when Jesus touches people through the Word and through the body as the church, they are made straight immediately. A change takes place; spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically!
You say “But I’ve been coming to church for eighteen months, and I’m still caught up in this addiction or bowed down by that activity,” Keep coming. Keep believing. Keep worshiping because Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever, there will come a time when, like the daughter of Abraham, you will hear in your heart, “you are loosed.” And, like her, you’ll be able to stand up straight.
Even when you feel weighed down by your burdens, Jesus sees you as so much more.
Jesus sees you as a delight, and he continuously calls out to you in the Bible saying “Come rest in me and be free.”
We’ve seen that the freedom Jesus offers is freedom from Spiritual bondage, freedom from physical bondage, and it is freedom from bondage under the Law, and the whole point behind this is the issue of identity and freedom is that Jesus offers us to be children of God.
John 1:12-13 to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
We’ve been given this new identity to respond with praise and rejoicing in all the Lord has done for us..
Where’s Your Identity? — What’s in Your Heart?
ARE YOU ABLE TO REJOICE TODAY AS A CHILD OF GOD?