Lessons Of A Lifetime

PUTTING ON A SPIRITUAL SHOW
OR
PUT TO SPIRITUAL SHAME
SUNDAY NOV. 14, 2021

Scripture To Consider:
“Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.’ And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”

“But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.’”

“The Lord then answered him and said, ‘Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, think of it, for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?’

“And when Jesus had said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him. Then He said, ‘What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.’

“And again He said, ‘To what shall I liken the kingdom of God? It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.’ Luke 13.10-21

Something To Consider:
The healing of this woman on the Sabbath revealed a religious ruler’s inner heart attitude as that of putting on a spiritual show. His quoting from Exodus 20.9 exposed his legalistic approach to ministry, when He said, “There are six days on which men ought to work.”

Evidently Jesus did not agree with his unbiblical interpretation. For Jesus, in the hearing of all those in attendance addressed him as hypocrite. And according to Luke, this individual Jesus called a hypocrite, was the religious ruler of the synagogue. How many religious rulers today who spew out their false and unbiblical interpretations of God’s Word, would Jesus call hypocrites?

How many of us are living lives that are guilty of Jesus being able to call us hypocrites? Jesus, in Matthew chapter 15, gave us a biblical definition of a hypocrite. “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they [the religious rulers] worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” Sounds like many of the religious rulers of this 21st century generation might be guilty of the same hypocritical attitudes.

Something Else To Consider:
Let us take note that this woman of our Scripture to consider, had been in this suffering state for eighteen long years. And yet, she is still found on the day of worship, in a mindset of worship. And on this particular occasion Jesus showed up, ready, willing, and able to release her from her suffering and bondage of this infirmity. That is indeed something else for us to consider!

Evidently, this hypocritical ruler of this worship gathering did not take the time to consider what had just happened. Therefore, this callous so-called religious ruler who was more concerned for his position of authority or lack thereof, foolishly uttered; “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath.” 

The Lord answered him and rightfully said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath [dedicated day of worship] loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound- think of it- for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And of course, the answer can only be yes, and why not on the dedicated day of worship!

Something More To Consider:
Luke then wrote, “And when Jesus had said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame.” Why was that? The mystery writer of Hebrews 4.12 tells us, “For the Word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

That verse was proved true in both the woman for her healing, and also for Jesus’ adversaries who were put to shame. That is why we are commanded to study the Word of God diligently for ourselves that we might become approved of to God, workers who are not ashamed of the Word of God and workers who rightly interpret the Word of God, thereby are able to rightly communicate the truths of the Word of God to others and for themselves.

We have dealt with the parables about the mustard seed and leaven earlier in Matthew 13. 31-33. But it would always be wise for us to listen to Jesus’ warning found in Luke 12.1, concerning leaven, when He says to us in this most possible final generation; “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees [religious leaders of every generation], which is hypocrisy.”

Therefore, this religious hypocrite and many others since then, and very possible us at times, are and were put to spiritual shame due to their or our putting on a spiritual show. Lord help us not to be caught in the act of hypocrisy or being likened to the leaven of sin!

A Few Final Words:
In our Scripture to consider today, Jesus declared, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” Mustard trees are generally 5-6.5 feet tall, which does not by any comparison equal a large tree, but rather a small tree. What was Jesus explaining in this parable that may be important to understand?

Could Jesus be cautioning us of the abnormal physical growth of the so-called church; so much so, that birds would be able to lodge comfortably among its many branches? And we must keep in mind that birds in the parables always represented evil. Could Jesus be teaching of a future abnormal growth of the kingdom of God on earth or the abnormal growth of the established church, in outward appearance only, but which was to be filled with the evil representatives of Satan, comfortably residing among those confessing Christ?

In corporate America that kind of growth causes rejoicing and bonus checks to be received by all those at the top of the financial pyramid. But within the true church this kind of abnormal physical growth should cause alarm. And yet, the 21st century mega church proto-type much resembles corporate America in many aspects. And that is a shame and should not be the case! This concept in essence makes the abnormal growth seeking church an enemy or in opposition to the true biblical model for the New Testament church.

Every enemy of Jesus Christ will in time be put to spiritual shame. But, as dear children of God dependent on God in and through Jesus Christ and not dependent on larger unbiblical weekly church collections of the unrighteous tithe, we can rest assured while we rejoice for all the glorious things God has done and has provided.

“And when Jesus had said these things. all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him. Let us rejoice today and every day for all the things Jesus and our heavenly Father has done and will continue to do. 

Prayer:
Our Father in heaven, create in us a distaste for ever putting on a spiritual show, thereby sparing us from being put to shame. Let us rather draw near to God knowing that He in turn will draw near to us. In Him Always, Amen!

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