The Redeemed Life

a Christian blog cultivating spiritual growth

11 July

God in a Box – Luke 13:10-17

Luke 13:10-17 – Listen

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

The Redeemed Mind – Learn

This Sabbath healing miracle brings Jesus into conflict with the religious leaders once again.  This time, their objection to Jesus is that He shouldn’t be “working” on the Sabbath in terms of healing the crippled woman.  Jesus responds by challenging their critical heart – these religious leaders “work” in caring for their barn animals, but are unwilling to “work” to care for God’s sons and daughters.

If you’re familiar with the Bible, you may be asking yourself – where does it say that healing can’t happen in the Bible?  Short answer: it’s not in there!  These religious leaders had added law upon law, adding to God’s Word in an attempt to be sinless by their own effort.  In their effort to keep the law on their own power, they crippled their ability to love and serve one another.

The Redeemed Heart – Worship

Jesus shames these Jewish religious leaders by exposing their internal hypocrisy.  Their actions showed that their hearts were more inclined toward serving their man-made laws rather than caring for those whom God had placed around them.  The core issue with these Pharisees was an issue of worship.  They had lost sight of worshipping God, and had subtly been worshipping the creation of their own hands – self-imposed laws that they thought made them holy.  Jesus chooses to enter into the mess of their hearts and engage them on the core issue – their hearts were far from God, even though they looked like the religious elite.

The Redeemed Life – Grow

Throughout the Bible, there are stories about the success and failures of men and women as they interacted with God.  The relgious leaders in this story were upset with Jesus because He challenged their view of God.  They thought that they could please God by adding rule after rule on His Laws, but in reality they were trying to place God in a box where He’d be predictable and easily manipulated by their “acts of worship.”

Its important to remember that they did not set out expecting to get it wrong!  They really tried hard to pursue God, but did it in the wrong ways.

Have you unwittingly placed God in a box in your own life?  Have to taken the easy road and thought “if I just do this, God will be happy with me and He’ll get off my back.”  Its all too easy to treat God like a machine (put the right thing in and He will spit out the good things we expect).  Its much more difficult to realize He is a Person who wants a relationship with you.

If I’ve learned anything so far, its that the hard choice is usually the right choice.

In your thinking, allow God to be bigger than you’re comfortable with.  Only then will you begin to see Him as He is.

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