Formations Lesson for March 7- A Question of Piety
February 24 2010 by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church

Focal Passage: Luke 13:10-17 

In this, the third of five stories in our series on Jesus and His critics, a miracle occurs. The story begins with Jesus teaching in one of the synagogues, “and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all” (Luke 13:11).

I believe there is something significant about the length of the woman’s deformity.

We designate 18 years as the proper amount of time for a child to mature into an adult in our society.

At age 18, a person is old enough to be independent, and is his or her own separate entity. A long-term illness or deformity can mature into an entity that takes on a life of its own and controls a person. I once worked with a woman who suffered daily “visits” from “Arthur” (severe arthritis). For her, “Arthur” had become an independent living entity that controlled her life.

Our text tells us, “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity’” (Luke 13:12). Jesus then touched her.

As she was healed, she immediately began to praise God.

The picture appears to be perfect. Jesus is in the synagogue, a place of worship. A woman is healed. She who was bent is now straightened up in the house of the Lord!

However, once the leader of the synagogue saw that the woman was healed, he became upset. He told the people there that the Sabbath was not a day for healing.

Healing was considered to be work, and work was prohibited on the Sabbath. To the leader of the synagogue this woman could have waited for one more day to be healed. For him, there was no sense of urgency — piety was seen as more important than pity.

Most people categorize something based on how it affects them directly. It is amazing how the amount we benefit from a particular situation controls our sense of urgency.

Martin Luther King Jr. wrote a piece entitled, Why We Can’t Wait.

In it he noted that those who would not benefit from Civil Rights legislation felt change was moving too quickly, while the African-American people felt change was happening too slowly.

Keeping the rules was of utmost importance to the Pharisee. Freeing the oppressed and healing the sick was important to Jesus (Luke 4:18-19). Jesus was rebuked in the synagogue. How well would He be received in our churches today?   
2/24/2010 3:04:00 AM by DuPre Sanders, pastor, Roxboro Baptist Church | with 0 comments

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