So picture this: It is a Sabbath. Jesus is teaching in a synagogue. A crippled woman is there. Jesus sees her and calls her to him. She goes to Jesus and he heals her. She praises God.
Wow! Can you close your eyes and picture that? All eyes are on Jesus but He has his eyes on a crippled woman. And he calls her over. In front of everybody! How do you think she felt walking through the people? Did they clear a way for her? Were they mumbling about how bent over she was? Did they wonder what was going to happen? Then Jesus -
Then Jesus set her free from her infirmity and put his hand on her. Can you hear the tenderness in his voice? Can you imagine the feel of his touch? Can you picture the woman slowly straightening her back? Standing tall! Standing upright! Can you see the tears on her cheeks as she looks into the eyes of Jesus? Can you hear her praise God? Now this is an example of LIFE - DIFFERENT TODAY THAN YESTERDAY!
And then ---
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 13:14
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.”
WHAT? What happened here? How can one verse end with ‘praised God’ and the next start with ‘indignant’?
Time to use your imagination again: Picture the synagogue ruler standing there with his hands on his hips, head cocked to the side and a ‘Just who do you think you are’ expression on his face. INDIGNANT? Jesus had just healed a crippled woman and this man was indignant!
Now, picture Jesus slowly turning to this man, fixing his eyes on him and giving a less than gentle reply.
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 13:15-16
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? 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?”
Give it to them Jesus! Do you think the people listening were shocked to hear Jesus call those important men hypocrites or do you think they gave Jesus an Amen?
SCRIPTURE: LUKE 13:17
When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Okay, you can smile now. A perfect ending!
NOW REALLY STOP AND THINK ABOUT THIS --
First, can you picture the joy of the crippled woman upon being healed? Think of your everyday activities and how hard it would be to do them bent over. But how often do we stay bent over because we refuse to forgive, hold a grudge or hang onto a sin? What joy would come into your life if you didn’t have to carry those burdens? How much better would your life be if you allowed Jesus to set your free?
Second, do you think the Sabbath should be one way and only one way? Jesus pointed out that certain work is required to take care of animals but the need of a person is far greater.
Third, talk to Jesus about setting you free. Life is much better when you are standing straight. Just ask the crippled woman.