“…the people were delighted
with all the wonderful things he [Jesus] was doing.”
Luke 13:17 (NIV)
What did we do before GPS devices? We would be booked to see a place we had never seen before. Directions would be given but they seemed muddled and confusing. We would get lost trying to find the place.
Why, I have even had my GPS give me wrong directions to get to a place I had visited many times! I was right, it was wrong as it told me to get off the highway 2-3 intersections prior to the one I actually needed.
Far more serious than that are the wrong directions life takes for some of us and we end up in a place of great sorrow and suffering. We wonder why we went out that day because we ended up in a car accident and had to go to the hospital. Or we have eaten only healthy food all our lives, exercised, and still get very sick. Doing the right thing seemed to be wrong, or at least it did not lead to the good it promised.
The verse for today is taken from a story about Jesus. The story takes place on the Sabbath and Jesus is teaching so all eyes were on Him. In the crowd was a woman who suffered from a medical problem that left her bent over. She had been 18 years in this sad state. When Jesus saw her He did the right thing that was also wrong.
Does that sound confusing? Well it is if you see the situation using the eyes of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day. The leaders took very seriously the commandment that said, “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.”
They taught that you could not do your professional work on the Sabbath. A ditch digger must rest on the Sabbath in order to obey this commandment. Someone who built houses must leave side the tools of his trade in order to comply with this command from God.
Now that seems good so far. However, what do you do with a doctor who has a patient in pain and in need of his services? Well, it was taught in Jesus’ day that the patient must wait until the Sabbath was over before being attended to by the physician. The only exception allowed in Jesus’ time was in cases where the patient would die that day if the doctor did not intervene immediately.
The situation Jesus found Himself in was that when He healed the woman that was a good thing to do so He was right in helping the woman. However she had lived with this condition for 18 years so why could He not wait until the Sabbath was over before releasing her from her bondage? There was the dilemma.
Immediately after Jesus healed the woman the accusations flew at Him. Jesus defended Himself by saying that His accusers would untie their animals on the Sabbath and lead them to water to slake their thirst. He argued that the woman was far more valuable to God than their animals. Why could they not see that God sanctioned healing on the Sabbath if it was all right to attend to animals needs that same day.
If you suffer today, God is more interested in helping you than you are concerned to rise from a bed of sickness to feed your pets. Although the problem in your life is allowed, God is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. He greatly desires to come to your aid right now. Call out to Him, pour out your complaint, tell Him how you struggle with the issue. He is merciful and will certainly give you strength and grace to endure. Come to Him and come now.