Friday, May 6, 2016

Ruffled Feathers

God wants us to be free.

"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.' 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? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?' 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." - Luke 13:14-17 ESV

I love this passage. The day of rest is a great day to be free. It's Friday so there are millions of people working today who don't have to go to a job tomorrow. Many are saying, 'Thank God It's Friday.' because they want to be free even if it is just freedom from the restrictions of work for a few days. Monday a lower percentage of those same people are saying, 'Thank God I have a job.' because the money and possibly the benefits of their job give them freedom in other ways.

Something started to happen to this woman eighteen years before she met Jesus. Perhaps it was gradual but she was losing mobility. She must have learned to live with it. That's what people do. They learn to live with the issues that won't go away.

Then one day when she was resting Jesus healed her. Did she have rest from her bent over condition. No. Not yet. She was resting in the rest God prescribed.

The rulers of the synagogue prided themselves in the knowledge that they were 'sons of Abraham'. Part of why they were ashamed was because Jesus identified the woman as a 'daughter of Abraham'. She was like them. She is like all of us but they were so occupied with the rules that they lost sight of the miracle.

Freedom. I want people to have it. If Jesus never walked her way then she would have died a bent over person.

"And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith, he said, 'Man, your sins are forgiven you.' And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, 'Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?' When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, 'Why do you question in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins' - he said to the man who was paralyzed - 'I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.' And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God." - Luke 5:18-25 ESV

Let's tear off the roof to lower people down and see Jesus.

"And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, 'Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!' " - Mark 10:47 ESV

The blind man yelled at the top of his lungs. It bothered the people around him.

Our methods might bother a few people. Jesus wasn't obnoxious. He did what He did and it shamed them when He calmly explained it to them.

I am free and I plan to use my freedom in ways that I know will bother some people. I can't heal like Jesus. Jesus healed every person that came to him. He never walked away unsure what just happened.

The power we have is just as amazing. We can rip off they roof and lower people down to see Jesus.

I wonder if those same men came back later and fixed the roof. The scriptures don't say anything one way or the other about it.

I suppose if we plan to have Jesus over we aught to expect that there might be some property damage also.


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