Extending Mercy Without Limit

Posted by admin on 11 December 2016 in 1 John, James, Luke, Matthew |

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 leader 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 your 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.

I. A woman crippled by a spirit for 18 years

The person Jesus healed was a woman crippled by a spirit for eighteen years (11).

This woman was crippled for a long time - eighteen years. Jesus considers he/she who suffers hunger, thirst, alienation, nakedness, illness, or imprisonment being himself, as written in Matthew 25:34-40. See Matthew 25:40.

40 ‘The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

God promises to care for us if we first care for His (Matthew 6:33).

A (evil) spirit can cause serious physiological problems that are beyond medical science. So, we need prayer life to get help from the Holy Spirit. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective (James 5:16b). See James 5:14-16.

14 Is anyone among you ill? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

II. The amazing Healer and his opponents

There existed people who opposed Jesus during His ministry. In this case, Jesus was teaching inside a synagogue (10), and the synagogue leader spoke out against miraculous healing performed by Jesus on the Sabbath (14) even though the synagogue leader was supposed to understand God’s will better than others, but he certainly understood it worse.

Sick people came for healing on the Sabbath, which caused Jesus, the synagogue leader thought, to break the Sabbath law. So, he asked people not to come for healing on the Sabbath (14). He tried to indirectly discredit, criticize, and undermine the miraculous healing performed by Jesus.

The synagogue leader tried to limit ‘mercy’ while Jesus extended his ‘mercy’.

What he didn’t know was God’s mercy toward this woman. Jesus called him a ‘hypocrite’ because it was common for people to show mercy to animals on the Sabbath (15), but he opposed showing mercy to the woman who had been suffering for 18 years.

Jesus is God, the Creator and the Law Giver. God puts compassion above ritual (Matthew 9:13). Showing mercy shouldn’t be limited to 6 days, and showing mercy should be allowed on the Sabbath.

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8). He said

Then Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?’ (Luke 6:9)

Therefore, to do good and save life are lawful every day, including the Sabbath.

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. (1 John 3:7)

This verse says, ‘do what is right, then you are righteous, just as Jesus is righteous.’

Let’s be reasonable. Opposing the Son of God who showed mercy was certainly wrong. Showing mercy to the woman crippled for a long time was certainly right.

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