Jesus can say anything. Jesus tells the disciples to let the children come to him. Jesus sees the faith of friends and heals a man who is lame, just by speaking. Jesus answered those who questioned him with more questions. Jesus also gets to accurately describe the people around him. He called the ruler of the synagogue and the people in the synagogue hypocrites!
I wonder if Jesus would call us Christians today the same name. Would he call us hypocrites? I am sure it would cause much grief for us if Jesus called us hypocrites. It was how the Jews were treating this woman that Jesus called them hypocrites.
A. Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath (13:10)
1. Jesus was welcome in the synagogues
2. Synagogue – a place of teaching and prayer for Jews
3. Before Jesus went to Jerusalem, he was welcome to teach in many synagogues. It was because Jesus taught as one having authority. It was an authority that even the Pharisees and scribes did not have. Jesus used this time of teaching in a way that people did not expect. For whom did Jesus see in the synagogue?
B. A woman appeared in the synagogue (13:11-13)
1. A woman appeared – was she known by the synagogue members
a. It is my understanding that 10 Jewish men are the basis for a synagogue
b. Women are not in the same section of the synagogue as men
c. Women cannot literally be seen from the men’s section of the synagogue!
d. In some synagogues, the women cannot even hear the prayers being said in the men’s section (http://www.jewfaq.org/women.htm)
2. Yet, Jesus saw her and spoke directly to her – “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”
3. Jesus also laid hands on her – a typical mode of healing
4. She stood up straight & praised God – right there in front of the synagogue!
5. We don’t know the name of the woman healed in the synagogue. We do know that she came to the synagogue for something. Did she know Jesus was speaking in there? Or did Jesus know she was going to show up? Either way, Jesus spoke directly to her and healed her. Jesus did this healing right out in the open, in front of everyone. But what Jesus said and did upset the synagogue leader. Why did this upset the synagogue leader? Was it because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, or was it because Jesus healed a woman in the men’s section of the synagogue?
C. So, when can we get healed? (13:14-16)
1. The synagogue leader did not speak directly to the woman, but to the crowd!
2. Jesus also responds to the crowd!
3. You hypocrites!
a. We know this term as one who doesn’t act like their faith
b. In the ancient world, this word meant an actor who hid behind a mask in a play!
c. Was Jesus saying these people in the synagogue were hiding behind a mask, the Law, as they were acting out their faith in the synagogue?
4. Don’t you untie oxen or donkeys from the manger and care for it on the Sabbath?
5. This woman is a daughter of Abraham – she has faith like Abraham!
6. Satan has bound the woman for 18 years!
7. Why cannot this woman be set free on the Sabbath day?
8. Oh, we are like that synagogue leader. We complain about what happens, but not directly to the one involved. Yet, we may also want the rules followed more than we do anything else! But Jesus has a way of setting us straight. When we are using our faith as a mask, being hypocrites, then we need to be set straight by Jesus. To have men and women healed on the Sabbath, even if they get noticed in the worship service, that sounds like a time to rejoice. How many times have we complained about what has happened in a worship service, yet we have not realized that Jesus was directing the disturbance to happen? I sure hope we see Jesus healing people in our midst, as we have worship on our Sabbath. For then we could be like the crowd.
D. The crowd rejoiced (13:17)
1. The synagogue ruler and Jesus’ other opponents were put to shame
2. The crowd rejoiced at what Jesus was doing
a. Jesus was healing
b. Jesus was confronting the hypocrites!
3. Jesus sure could say anything. And he did say anything. Jesus also did things that people thought he ought not to have done on the Sabbath. Yes, people are more important than the rules. Having someone healed of a deformity, a malady, or sin sickness, is more important than our rules. For if we care for our animals on the Sabbath, then we can care for people on the Sabbath.
Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Jesus also said things that we cannot get away with saying. Yet, if we have made the rules of being a Christian more important than people, then we are also hypocrites.
Today is the day for us to stop acting with masks on. If we realize that our faith is just a mask, let us seek Jesus’ help in living our faith.
Today is the day we place people before our rules. If our rules keep people separated from Jesus, then let us change our perspective. For the compassion Jesus has for people, is the compassion we need to have for people.
Today is the day we rejoice at all the wonderful things Jesus is doing. If we have not rejoiced at the wonderful things Jesus has done, then let us start rejoicing today.