WHEN our Lord Jesus walked on this earth, everywhere He went, He reversed the destruction caused by the kingdom of darkness. Our Lord had come to usurp dominion and power from the evil one through the ultimate sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary. And day-by-day, as He progressed towards that goal, our Lord Jesus also displayed His power and compassion through healing, deliverance and miracles.
One such ‘compassion-prompted’ miracle is recorded in Luke 13:11-21. Jesus Christ was teaching in a synagogue. In the audience was a woman, crippled by an evil spirit for 18 years. Eighteen years is a long time – long enough to get frustrated and disillusioned. Yet there she was, seated in the synagogue, still seeking God, still making place for Him in her life. When we are faithful, God will meet us. It may not happen today or tomorrow, but one day, He will come down and meet us at the point of our need. Our Lord didn’t send angels, disciples or the temple priests, but He took it upon Himself to meet her need.
The Bible tells us that she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. She had obviously tried everything, maybe even the best specialists and hospitals around. Nothing helped and she faced the harsh reality of an impossible situation. But then, Lord Jesus showed up, and made the impossible, possible. When our Lord Jesus meets us, things will change, because it is a meeting of eternal consequences. No one who has met our Lord has ever remained the same.
The rulers and leaders of the synagogue took offense that Jesus had not honored the letter of the Law. Rather than marvel at the deliverance and offer praise and thanksgiving to God, they spoke to the people telling them to come on the other six days of the week for healing. The rulers of the synagogue talked to the people, while worshipers talked with God. It is better to have favor with God, than it is to have favor with men.
Lord Jesus responded to His critics by revealing their hypocrisy. He silences their tirade by reminding them that they also untie their cattle and lead it to water, on the Sabbath.
There is an important truth in this teaching. There are 2 parts to being set free from bondage 1) loosening bondages so that we are free and no longer shackled 2) leading to water so that we can quench our thirst. For a drug addict, overcoming the temptation to do drugs is just one part of it. Allowing God to fill the void and to becoming ‘addicted’ to Him is the second and most important part, for this will sustain us till the end of our race.
Our Lord Jesus then goes on to talk about the Kingdom of God. He compares it to a mustard seed that was planted and grew into a tree, where the birds were able to shelter in its branches. He also compares the Kingdom of God to a little yeast that a woman worked into a large amount of flour. Both these illustrations talk about growth. With even a little seed or a little yeast, God will make His Kingdom grow, irrespective of circumstances.
And what do we have to do? Nothing! God will build His church, we have to bury our personal agenda and choose to be a channel of blessing. Let us choose to:
1) Develop maturity – Loosening bondages is simple, but leading to the water is a process, it takes time. Same with maturity. Maturity requires us to move from selfishness to service. We are no longer babies in God’s Kingdom. Maturity comes from dedication.
2) Be Pure – We are not anchored to the times, we are anchored to the Rock of Ages. God is calling us to purity. We can be excellent in our work and yet be pure.
3) Be United – Let us join hands together to build His Kingdom in this world.
If we can develop maturity, purity and unity, God is faithful to do beyond what we ask or think.