(The following is a summary of the sermon that was preached by Michael Larsen on Feb 9, 2020.)
Look at 1 John 4:8: “Anyone who does not love does not know God for God is love.” If a person does know God, then the obvious result is they’ll be a more loving person. In Luke 13 Jesus is going to paint for us a masterpiece portrait of what love is all about.
Luke 13:10-13 “On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues. A woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and couldn’t 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.”
From this brief but powerful encounter I want to give you five challenges that, if applied, would change how you live this week and could change how you live the rest of your days on planet earth.
1. Look around
He noticed her. His eyes locked with hers and He was moved with compassion. Attention is one of the most powerful forces in all of the world. There’s a passage in the Old Testament that is a blessing. It says in Numbers 6:24-26, “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious. The Lord turn His face towards you and give you peace.” There are all kinds of people just waiting to be noticed. So here’s the first challenge: Look around. Notice. Pay attention. The second challenge is…
2. Take a risk.
In this passage the Bible says that Jesus saw her, but then He took a risk to speak to her and to call her forward. Here’s the point. When you choose to demonstrate bold, reckless, radical love of Christ, sometimes it will be risky. But it is worth the risk. So number one is look around. Number two is take a risk.
3. Reach out.
Love reaches out. In this story Jesus saw her. He noticed her. He called her forward. He took a risk. But then He reached out to her and He laid His hands on her and He spoke to her and she was healed.
1. He saw her.
2. He spoke to her. He calls her “a daughter of Abraham.”
3. He touched her.
4. Expect some criticism.
Luke 13:14-15 “Indignant because Jesus healed on a 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.’”
Think about how ridiculous that is. This guy says, “We don’t do miracles. We don’t do healings here at the church. Do them six days a week. Come back another time. That’s when we do the healings." Jesus answered, ‘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 years be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’
Here’s the point I want you to get. Jesus absolutely refused to let His critics sidetrack Him from spontaneously showing radical acts of love.
5. Seize the moment
He reaches out to her and in spite of the criticism He would not let this opportunity pass to seize the moment and show a spontaneous burst of love to someone in need. And that one act of love would forever change her life.
1 John 3:18 says “My dear children let’s not just talk about love, let’s practice real love.” Seize the moment.
And may the Master pour on the love so it fills your lives and splashes over on everyone around you, just as it does from us to you.
(1 Thessalonians 3:12)