Tag Archives: Luke 13:10-17

Do You Know What Day It Is?

Healing a Woman on the Sabbath

10 One Sabbath, Jesus was teaching in a Jewish meeting place, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by an evil spirit for eighteen years. She was completely bent over and could not straighten up. 12 When Jesus saw the woman, he called her over and said, “You are now well.” 13 He placed his hands on her, and right away she stood up straight and praised God.

14 The man in charge of the meeting place was angry because Jesus had healed someone on the Sabbath. So he said to the people, “Each week has six days when we can work. Come and be healed on one of those days, but not on the Sabbath.”

15 The Lord replied, “Are you trying to fool someone? Won’t any one of you untie your ox or donkey and lead it out to drink on a Sabbath? 16 This woman belongs to the family of Abraham, but Satan has kept her bound for eighteen years. Isn’t it right to set her free on the Sabbath?” 17 Jesus’ words made his enemies ashamed. But everyone else in the crowd was happy about the wonderful things he was doing.

Do you know what day it is?

What do you think you’re doing?

Aren’t there six days you can be doing the things you need to?  Today is for resting. For focussing on God.  For hearing his voice.  We like to keep it special.

You don’t get it do you?

You don’t understand what is God’s work – and what isn’t.  You make your rules.  You think they make you safe.  But you have no idea about what really matters.

Do you care for your livestock on the Sabbath?  Or do you leave them to go hungry and cooped up?  Restricted, thirsty and bound?

This woman was bound.  She has been for so many years.  You don’t think freeing her is the work of God?  You don’t think that is the right thing to do?  Should I leave her crippled and bent, because you don’t think it is my place or the right time and place to free her?

I’m afraid God doesn’t work by your rules.  He doesn’t keep within the parameters you have marked out.

God is God.  Today is his today.  He plays by his rules, not yours.

Forgive me Lord
The times I have tried to restrict you,
to make you play by my rules,
when really all the rules are yours.

Forgive me
when I would rather see things done the “right” way
than your way.

Forgive me for not seeing clearly,
for not hearing strongly,
for not being willing to let you have your way.

Today Lord,
may there be freedom
and release
for all who need it.

Meet me in my need
I pray

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Making the world a brighter place

The Christmas catalogues have started dropping through the door…

It is so easy to get caught up in what we want, or think we need.  To find yourself spend, spend, spending to create the “perfect” experience or locate the “perfect” gift.

But perhaps we are looking in the wrong place.  Isaiah reminds us that in feeding the hungry and helping those in trouble, light will shine from the darkness, and the dark around will be as bright as noon. I can’t quite decide from the gist of reading whether the brightness comes to our world, or that of the recipient.  But then I decided – both!  Yes the one who’s life is helped will be brightened, but so will we.  There is happiness in giving – how much more so in helping.  And how much brighter the world in general if there is more giving, helping and sharing.

The brightness is not a glow of self-satisfaction or righteousness, but brightness in our own lives that comes from doing what God asks.

If we think of others and their needs before our own wants, we will end oppression and be too caught up in caring to point the finger or spread rumours.  We will be too busy being angry about the things that are wrong in the world to waste that anger on trivialities.

To give is to be a builder.  Houses that have been in ruins for years can be rebuilt.  Places of destruction and desolation can be made new again – and we can be part of that.

That is what Jesus did. Here was a woman in need.  There are so many reasons why Jesus could have done nothing.  Jesus no doubt had lots to do; he was busy teaching; it was the Sabbath.  This woman had been ill for 18 years, perhaps she was beyond help, it certainly wouldn’t matter if Jesus waited one more day until the Sabbath was over – after all one of Isaiah’s criteria for doing the right thing was honouring the Sabbath…

But Jesus is concerned about restoration, about bringing new life to places of devastation, he is about giving and not taking, and bringing the brightness of God’s presence to the world.  He gives her freedom from her illness.  He is accused of hypocrisy, but Jesus shows them how to really honour the Sabbath.  He does what he can, he gives what he has to offer.  He makes her life a brighter place, and he makes the world a brighter place by showing others what they can do too.

I was absolutely gobsmacked to discover that a prosthesis for a leprosy sufferer can be bought for just £10!  Just £10!  Why aren’t we all putting one on our Christmas lists to make someone else’s world brighter?  MRDF has a selection of Extraordinary Gifts too.  Just £9 can buy a goat that will provide an income for years.

Do we really need more “things”?  I know I don’t!

So how about bringing brightness into the darkness.  What can we do today to make the world a brighter place?