This week we’ll pick up our narrative in the gospel of Luke chapter 13:10-17.
We’ll see Jesus heal a woman suffering with a crippling back condition that caused her to be bent in two for 18 years. Not only does he literally stand her up he also stands up for her, pleading her case in the face of legalistic opposition. In our text today we’ll see the high priority Jesus puts on helping the hurting and marginalized in our midst.
In verses 10-13 Jesus is teaching in a synagogue on a sabbath day and catches the woman in his eye. The second he sees her he immediatley stops his teaching to relieve her of her infirmity. Has there ever been a time when you were doing something you deemed important but stopped in your tracks because you saw someone in need? How difficult is it to re-prioritize your plans when faced with an opportunity to help someone? How do you feel if you don’t make time to do so? That can be a real source of heartache or regret but God in his kindness always provides another opportunity for us to act on his behalf.
This is the fourth out of five times in Luke’s narrative Jesus heals on a sabbath day and it’s his last recorded visit to a synagogue…Do you think it’s a coincidence that he chooses to repeat this compassionate act in his last teaching moment with that sort of audience? What do you think that reveals about God’s Kingdom priorities?
In verse 14, unfortunately the synagogue leader continues the trend in misunderstanding and misrepresenting God’s character. Instead of rejoicing with one set free, he responds harshly rebuking and shaming those seeking and needing his help the most. Are there beliefs or opinions you hold that when opposed, cause you to depict a less than loving God? How difficult is it for you to agree to disagree with someone on an issue you’re passionate about?
Jesus responds to the synagogue leaders harsh rebuke in vs 15-16 with a rebuke of his own. He elevates and advocates for the one suffering and secluded, scolding the synagogue leader for his willingness to stand by and do nothing. Have you ever stood up for someone who couldn’t stand up for themselves? Is there a group or cause near and dear to your heart?
Finally in verse 17 we see that overflowing joy is shared by all who see and receive God’s boundless love!
It should be an inspiring study! Hope to see you there!