Series: Momma Said. . .
Week of May 26 – June 1, 2021
AIM: After studying this lesson, students will realize that when it seems that no one cares for them, or about them, there is ONE who cares! He shows His care, concern and compassion with a touch!
The story is told of a minister who was a seminary professor and a preacher, but he liked to attend his home church whenever he could. He was supposed to go out of town one Sunday morning to speak, but it was within driving distance, so he went to an early service at his church first. He had to skip out before the service was over, and to save time he took a short-cut through the choir room on his way to the parking lot.
He was surprised to see a woman he knew well, a woman who had been singing in the choir for years, in the choir room hanging up her robe. He was in a hurry, but curious about why she was there when the rest of the choir was still in church. He asked if she was all right. She looked up and said she was quitting.
“What do you mean?” he asked, “Are you resigning from the choir? After all these years?” “No”, she said, “I’m quitting this church. I have been here for years, and nobody pays any attention to me. Nobody knows me at all. In this church, nobody cares.” He looked at her and said, “You’re wrong.” She glared back at him and said, “I’m right.”
The minister glanced at his watch, conscious of the irony, and said, “I’ve got to go, but let me tell you, you’re wrong.” As he dashed out the door her voice trailed after him, “I am not! In this church nobody cares!”
“Who cares?” This is a painful question that many people may ask themselves. The answer is Jesus! He cares and Jesus shows in our lesson that He sees and cares!
The miracle of the infirm woman recorded by Luke is not only the report of a trained observer, but because of medical terms used, it reveals Luke as a physician, who alone records the incident that took place on a Sabbath Day in a synagogue. Unbelievable as it may seem, it was on this day when the religious leaders, instead of paying attention to the scripture and prayers, are more interested in closely watching Jesus in the hope of trapping Him in breaking some law concerning the Sabbath. And Jesus did not disappoint them! Yes, He had consecrated the Sabbath as a sacred day for the purpose of worship; but He also performed many of His miracles on the Sabbath. These “blind” leaders did not, could not, would not understand that the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath! Plus, they failed to see Jesus as One greater than the Sabbath. They thought more of the day than its Designer!
Luke 13:10-17 (NIV)
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.
- The “Daughter” Suffering the Sickness
- Christ spoke of this crippled woman as “a daughter of Abraham” and therefore was more precious in His eyesight than an ox or donkey!
- This woman was a descendant of Abraham, she trusted God, knew God, but this did not stop her from getting ill!
- Sometimes the sickness is just the result of a virus or other contagious diseases but sometimes the sickness was because of a demon.
- Bad things happen to good people.
- Being a Christian does not eliminate us from illness, from trouble, but may in fact be the very reason we get attacked!
Job 1:8-12 (AMP) – 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered and reflected on My servant Job? For there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God [with reverence] and abstains from and turns away from evil [because he honors God].” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 Have You not put a hedge [of protection] around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands [and conferred prosperity and happiness upon him], and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But put forth Your hand now and touch (destroy) all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face.” 12 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that Job has is in your power, only do not put your hand on the man himself.” So Satan departed from the presence of the Lord.
- This incident in the synagogue wasn’t the first time Jesus had to deal with that kind of a problem.
Mark 1:21-26 (MSG) – 21-22 Then they entered Capernaum. When the Sabbath arrived, Jesus lost no time in getting to the meeting place. He spent the day there teaching. They were surprised at his teaching—so forthright, so confident—not quibbling and quoting like the religion scholars. 23-24 Suddenly, while still in the meeting place, he was interrupted by a man who was deeply disturbed and yelling out, “What business do you have here with us, Jesus? Nazarene! I know what you’re up to! You’re the Holy One of God, and you’ve come to destroy us!” 25-26 Jesus shut him up: “Quiet! Get out of him!” The afflicting spirit threw the man into spasms, protesting loudly—and got out.
Mark 5:1-13 (MSG) – 1-5 They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then howled in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”)9-10 Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.” He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country. 11-13 A large herd of pigs was grazing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.
POINT TO PONDER: How can we, or how should we confront mental illness in the church?
POINT TO PONDER: What “stones” are we cutting ourselves with today?
- So now, on a Sabbath, in a synagogue, Jesus finds a woman who had a “spirit of infirmity” and, even worse, was bowed together—we might say she was “doubled over”—and had a hard time lifting herself up. Which means she never looked up! Luke adds, she had been in that condition for 18 years!
POINT TO PONDER: What problem(s) keep you from looking up, always looking down?
- The Description of Her Sickness
- She had a mysterious derangement of her nervous system.
- She was “bowed together and could in no wise lift up herself” indicates a dislocation of the vertebrae.
- Jesus said that she had been bound by Satan – that her disorder had been inflicted on her by Satan just as he had smitten Job with sore boils.
Job 2:7 (NIV) – So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head.
- The Duration of Her Sickness
- This was not a 24-hour virus. For eighteen (18) years this woman suffered.
- In Jewish tradition, 18 is considered a lucky number because it symbolizes “chai,” the Hebrew word for “life.”
- Her trouble was long-standing and hopeless, as the years dragged by we can imagine how she, as “a daughter of Abraham” resigned herself to the divine will although she did not understand why she had been afflicted through all these years!
- We should not think it strange because she had been ill so long. Many persons in the scriptures suffered from an illness that had gone on for many years!
Mark 5:25 (NCV) 25 Among them was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years.
Mark 9:21 (NIV) 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered.
John 5:5 (NASB) 5 Now a man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years.
John 9:1 (NASB) 9 As Jesus passed by, He saw a man who had been blind from birth.
Acts 3:2 (NASB) 2 And a man who had been unable to walk from birth was being carried, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order for him to beg for charitable gifts from those entering the temple grounds.
IV. The Disposition of the Woman
- Although a firm believer in God she was still afflicted for a long time. However, her painful situation did not keep her from attendance at the synagogue.
- She was not bitter or angry with God
- She was in Church and not at Church
- She was there to worship Him – praise Him.
- She was not there out of duty – but devotion.
- Walking must have been difficult for her, but her seat was never vacant when the Sabbath came around.
- She was faithful in attendance
- Despite her illness – she was there
- Did not use her illness as an excuse
- Think of what she would have missed if she had been absented from God’s house that Sabbath. JESUS WAS THERE!!! And she would have missed Him and her healing!
Luke 4:16 (NIV) 16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom.
John 20:24-28 (NLT)24 One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. 25 They told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.” 26 Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” 28 “My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Hebrews 10:25 (NLT) 25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.
- The Deliverer of Her Sickness
- We need to notice that Jesus used various methods in healing the sick.
- He did not cure in the same way all who came to Him.
- No standard rule was followed in His miracles.
- Notice what He did. . .
- Jesus Saw Her
- Jesus Called Her
- Jesus Spoke To Her
- Jesus Touched Her
- The Direct Results of The Healing
- The woman herself glorified God
- This unasked-for, immediate healing called for immediate gratitude. She didn’t wait until she got home, but immediately praised God!
Point to Ponder: What healing have you missed by not being in attendance when Jesus came?
- The people rejoiced
- All her friends and fellow-worshippers in the house of God joined in to rejoice and give Him praise.
- How this must have gladdened His heart! Too often He looks in vain for gratitude from those He blesses.
Point to Ponder: When was the last time you rejoiced over someone else’s blessing? Why should you? You are STILL waiting on your miracle!
- The ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation.
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Thank God for the blessings you have been a recipient to as well as those blessings you’ve assisted others in receiving.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: When you experience someone who is running low in the care department, be a demonstration to them on how you received care during your shortage.
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: The greatest display of care came from Christ on the cross with its greatest triumph coming from his response to the death.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Our giving should reflect how much we care.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: When you are feeling a little low, remember God cares for you regardless of your plight.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Stepping Out on Faith
SERIES: Faith of Our Fathers
DAILY BIBLE READINGS: Romans 5:12; Genesis 11:31; John 4:46-54; Romans 10:17; Psalm 31:24; Psalm 33:18; Psalm 39:7; Romans 10:11-12; Psalm 91:15; Luke 18:1-8; Matthew 7:7-8; Hebrews 11:6; Ezekiel 12:25; Luke 21:33; Psalm 37:5; Proverb 3:5; John 2:11; John 7:31; Acts 8:6; Acts 16:30-33; Joshua 24:15