Jesus reminds me that I am at times much like the Synagogue leader, ignoring the call to love and serve people around me.
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.
You know when you’re having a conversation with someone and they are without a doubt wrong… but they hold firm to their opinion even though it’s completely ridiculous.I have conversations with people like this… sometimes I am that person.
This is what is happening with the synagogue leader. He’s got this idea that healing this woman on the Sabbath was not a good idea, simply because “work” should be kept on the other six days. Yet Jesus points out that they all walk their donkeys and give them water, which sounds a bit like “work” to me.
I’m sure that we can agree that the synagogue leader is wrong, and Jesus is 100% reasonable when he calls them hypocrites. But how often do we, the ones who call ourselves Jesus’ followers, turn a blind eye to people who need love and care? I can think of many times I have: I’m really no better than that man.
There are times we do this consciously but other times we are blind to our own sinfulness and we need Jesus or a friend to tell us we are being completely ridiculous … always telling the truth in love of course.
“I will depend on Him to open my eyes and make me aware of the opportunities which are everywhere around me, if I will only see and embrace them. If I find I am missing vital things, I will make time and opportunities for prayer, reading of His Word, meditation, communion, and kindly acts and fellowship with those around me, but more particularly with God Himself.” (A Closer Walk, E & M Williams, page 84)
Whether we’re ignoring or completely oblivious to where we can help others, we could all up our game in a small or large way.
Head: Are you like the synagogue leader?
Heart: Are you spending time with God and His people?
“And let us consider how we can spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – an all the more as you see the Day approaching” Hebrews 10:24,-25
Hands: Whom can you love? There is always someone.
Prayer: Lord thank you for the profound love you showed for us on the cross. Thank you for all the stories we read in the Bible that remind us to love like you have loved. Please give us strength and rid us of ourselves, which do not want to love people.
A song to listen to: Hands & Feet
“Give me a love like the Father, fire from the Spirit
To be the difference that I’m called to be
Open my eyes to the needy, my heart to the hurting
To be the body, be the hands and feet
Of the love we need”
Celina Facey – Living Church Creek Road