Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

01/21/2018 P.M.

 

We Come to Jesus Bent – But Not Broken

Luke13.10-17

 

Access a Bible or a Worship Bulletin… And read with me our text… Beginning with the verse numbered ten… Of Luke thirteen.... READY?...On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues… 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. When Jesus saw her… He called her forward and said to her…Woman… You are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her… And immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath… The synagogue ruler said to the people… There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days… Not on the Sabbath. The Lord answered him… You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 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? When he said this…All his opponents were humiliated… But the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

 

Picture with me this woman in our assembly tonight… As we are about to sing the first song… This lady comes walking down the aisle to take her place.  We all know her… She’s been on the church’s... Sick list… Prayer list… For eighteen years…. She has osteoporosis…

• The condition is so progressed… That she is bent double.

• Her face is looking at the ground…

 

Our King James says… She… In No wise could lift herself up.  

Her infirmity has caused her... embarrassment… EXCLUsion... Ostrazation…

• Children innocently giggle when they see her…

• Adults pity her…

But none could help.

 

The doctor’s prognosis was gloomy…

• She cannot be healed…

• Her condition is irreversible…

• She is destined to look at the ground wherever she goes… For as long as she goes.

 

But on this Sabbath… Something unbelievable happened.  Jesus is teaching… He sees her… He has more than pity on her… He has mercy!

• Jesus calls her… Saying… Woman you are set free…

• As He touched her… Imminently she straightened up….

• And began to praise God.

At this healing… The people began to rejoice. But the synagogue ruler was indignant and beginS to criticize Jesus for healing on the Sabbath.  Jesus reminded him that on the Sabbath… One was allowed to lead his animal to water…

• How much more would a child of Abraham…

• A Child of God…

be set free on this Day.

 

Jesus said... It’s ugly religion... When we place law & doctrine before people... Mark 2.27 has Him saying... The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

 

At this… The opponents of Jesus were humiliated… But the people were delighted at the wonderful things done by Jesus.

 

So tonight… Let’s spiritualize this narrative… And see what we can learn.

I want us to be challenged by this interesting… But frequently ignored…Text…

 

First….We learn that Satan is… alive… well… And at work.

This narrative plainly teaches that this woman’s disease was caused by Satan.

Satan is still working in our world today.

He is at the center of all sickness… Be it…

Spiritual…

• Physical…

• Or  Emotional…

 

Church…All… ugly…Hurtful… Harmful… Thoughts and behavior are a result of what happened in the garden… And Satan was at the heart of it.  He’s still the cause of everything bad and ugly…

• Every Pain…

• Every Hurt…

• Every War…

• Every Disease…

• Every… Ugly… Hateful… Hurtful…Divisive… Thought…

• Every Mean Spirited Behavior…

• Every Ruptured Relationship...

• Every Hateful Word of Gossip.

Is a result of Satan’s work.

 

We live in a fallen world… A world where Satan operates like a roaring lion… Seeking whom he may… tempt… Entangle… DEVOUR.

 

Scripture tells us that He is the god of this world…

And he rules it to human hurt!

Listen to these two Scriptures…

1 Peter 5.8… Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

 

2 Timothy 4.17… But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength… So that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And… LISTEN NOW… I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.

 

When we put Peter and Paul’s statements together… We find Satan is indeed active today.

But God has the power to deliver us…

But God has the power to deliver us…

God is more powerful than Satan.

 

We should not find this surprising… It was Paul who said… No temptation… No trial… No bending… Has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful…He will not let you be tempted… Tried… Bent…Beyond what you can bear. But when you are Tempted… Tried… Bent… He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

 

Church… God wants us to live better lives… Straighter lives…And He provides…EMPOWERS… our straightening… Amen?

 

Here is something else… Even though Satan is behind all suffering… God has the power… And even promises us… As we noted this morning… That He can take even the bad things that happen to us… And work them out to… Our good…Our benefit… Our betterment.

• Think of Job…Lost everything… But in the end he was blessed beyond what he lost.

• Think of Joseph… Sold into slavery…Falsely accused… Thrown in Jail… Yet God used this to bless him and his family beyond his wildest imagination.

 

Our challenge is to understand that…

• Satan is at work in our world…

• But that God promises to deliver us…

We are bent… but not broken.

 

Secondly…This narrative teaches patience.

This woman had this infirmity for eighteen years… Yet she never gave up.

Can you imagine coming to worship for eighteen years… Yet nothing changed in her condition?  I wonder how many prayers she prayed for deliverance in those eighteen years?

 

She was bent… But not broken… She never stopped believing.

Indeed…She challenges us to be patient… Amen?

 

Now…There is no doubt that today’s culture inhibits Biblical patience.

• We have instant potatoes…

• Instant rice…

• Fast food… So much so that restaurants advertise… You don’t have to pay if your meal is not delivered in ten minutes.

 

Domino’s Pizza built their business.. Not on the quality of their food… But the speed of their delivery.

 

Church…We must be patient… Sometimes We just have to wait!

Remember…We’re living on God’s timetable… And He never gets in a hurry!!

God promises deliverance… But there are times when He asked us… to wait… Be patient… It is a fruit of the Spirit… A fruit of God living in us.

 

Thirdly…We note that… Good things come to those who attend worship.

This lady kept coming to worship hoping that… A Blessing… A healing… Would come her way.  If this woman was faithful in her worship… She would have been here 935 times looking for a miracle.

 

On her 936th Sunday her healing came.  What if she had stayed home?...She would have missed her miracle…Missed Her healing… Missed Her blessing.

 

In this worship service… SHE Met Jesus… She was…

• Encouraged…

• Admonished…

• Edified…

• Enlightened…

• Healed…

• Her faith was strengthened.

• Her relationship with God was confirmed.

 

Church…Can I ask you a question… Did you come here tonight looking for a blessing?.. Are we here expecting… A blessing?… Even a Miricle?

 

Church…Let me show you something… Somehow… This lady was able to experience pain…Allowing it to move through her… Yet not posseSs her.

 

Most of us today… When we experience such… pain… struggles… Frustration… Or Troubles… We allow them to possess us to the point that…

• Our faith is compromised…

• We stop walking in the Light…

• Stop worshipping God…

• Stop ministering…

• Stop coming to church activities

Do we know anybody like that… Of course we all do.

 

What good is our faith unless it will carry us through trying times?

Here’s our challenge…

• Can we keep on coming to worship in spite of our struggles?

• Can we keep on being faithful in spite of our frustrations?

• Can we keep on trusting in spite of our troubles?

• Can we keep on coming to church Sunday after Sunday… In spite of what we are going through… Even if the condition persists for eighteen long years?

 

Consider these questions?...

 

• Do we come here Sunday after Sunday… Expecting the… sovereign… OMNIPOTENT… Omnipresent…God to be in our midst?

 

• Do we come here each Sunday looking for… A blessing?… A healing?... A Strengthening…  A MIRACLE?

 

I pray that we do… I Pray we do!!... Amen?

 

This narrative challenges us to check our life perspective.

Church…What is our world view?…

 

• Are we looking for the world to solve our problems… With its riches… Things…Pride… Power… Political clout?

 

• Or are we looking to Jesus for… spiritual… Emotional… Social…Healing?

 

Do we have a worldly perspective?… Or a heavenly one?

 

It was John who wrote Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world--the cravings of sinful man,the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does--comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

 

Number five… We must understand that we are all bent.

What has you or your preacher bent tonight? What is keeping us from… really…Really… Enjoying life… And being the people and person God wants us to be?

• Is it the recent loss of a loved one?…We’ve had several in our church family…

• Is it the loss of a job?… A downward career move?…

• Are we on the brink of bankruptcy?...

• Is it a diagnosis that seriously threatens our health?… Even our life?...

• Is it a ruptured relationship in our family or friendship circle?…

• Is it some sin?… The sin that so easily besets us?...

• Is it the fear of growing old?…

• Is it just a fear for the future?… A worry about tomorrow?

Indeed… We are all broken… Amen?

 

Then finally… Jesus is the good news for our brokenness

Jesus saw her… Jesus calls her… Jesus touched her... Heals her.

 

Listen to me… What He did that day for this broken woman… He’ll do for our brokenness…

• Even though our situation may seem hopeless…

• Even though our condition may appear desperate…

• Even though we’ve done all we can do.

 

Here it is church…

• If we are a child of Abraham…

• If we are a child of God by faith…

• If God is God… And He is…

• If God be for us… And He is…

• If Christ is with us… And He is..

• If the Holy Spirit is in us… And He is…

• If His… Love… Mercy… Grace…Providence… Are promised… And they are…

Then on any given day… At any given moment…

• Our past can be rectified…

• Our presence can be justified…

• Our future can be glorified…

• Our hearts can be purified…

• Our souls can be satisfied.

On any given day… On any giveN day… At any given moment… We can be saved. We can know we are heaven bound.

 

Tonight…Our closing verse comes from the pen of Paul… Read it with me … We are hard pressed on every side… But not crushed… Perplexed… But not in despair…Persecuted… But not abandoned… Struck down… (BENT)… But not destroyed... But we also rejoice in our sufferings… Because we know that suffering produces perseverance… Perseverance… character… And character… Hope. And hope does not disappoint us… Because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the HolySpirit… Whom he has given us.

 

Tonight… Right now… God’s invitation is open…

• Jesus sees us…

• He is calling us…

• And He is ready to heal our sin sickness… forgive and save us.

 

If you are not a child of God… Then become one by Faith… Repentance...and New Testament Baptism… Immersion in water for the forgiveness of sins.

 

If we are children of God… Then His invitation is to acknowledgeour sins… And He promises us forgiveness.

 

Indeed… We are all bent… But we do not have to go home broken.

Come to Jesus… As we stand and sing this invitation song together.