10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.
- Change of scene from crowd to synagogue, where God should be understood
- Christ was able to see the Spiritual dimension, it was being overlooked (18yrs)
- Literal translation: Spirit of Weakness
12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!
- ‘Dear Woman’…He touched her: personal, intimate expressions of relationship
- Her healing was total & instant (literal: ‘you are released from your weakness’)
- Instant healing and instant, intense praising of God!
- She recognized the power of God manifested in Christ
14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”
- The religious establishment does not recognize God’s power
- This guy & his followers are more concerned with ‘protocol’ than people
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water?
- Jesus says to those who use religion for power & control: ‘You are an Actor’
- They define work based on their lives / What we do is ok / Justification of sin
- This is religious legalism, Rules rather than Relationship
- If you don’t intentionally have Biblical Theology & Culture legalism
16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” 17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.
- One of your own (Abraham reference) that you did nothing for
- He asks why it matters how she is released rather than that she is released
- They had shame, it was about who they were not just what they had done
- Everyone else rejoiced: the only ones who didn’t rejoice were Christ’s enemies
18 Then Jesus said, “What is the Kingdom of God like? How can I illustrate it? 19 It is like a tiny mustard seed that a man planted in a garden; it grows and becomes a tree, and the birds make nests in its branches.”
- He had called out what the Kingdom of God is not like (legalism)
- He illustrates what it IS LIKE: little actions that grow into big things
20 He also asked, “What else is the Kingdom of God like? 21 it is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.”
- Next example of how God works: yeast! (longstanding biblical metaphor)
- When God’s Kingdom become part of you it will effect everything you do
- God’s work in us is not ‘compartmentalized’
22 Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he went, always pressing on toward Jerusalem. 23 Someone asked him, “Lord, will only a few be saved?” He replied, 24 “Work hard to enter the narrow door to God’s Kingdom, for many will try to enter but will fail.
- Christ was about getting around and teaching; but He had a destination
- The question is asked with a recognition that salvation is not ‘Universal’
- ‘Work Hard’, better translation would be: ‘Do your best’ (Not about earning it)
- Narrow door is one of many choices, narrow speaks of limited capacity
- Bottom line: Many Will Fail !
25 When the master of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. You will stand outside knocking and pleading, ‘Lord, open the door for us!’ But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from.’
- The Master (God) is the one who determines who can enter by the narrow door
- People will want to go in and ask to go in (eternity with God)
- But God will speak the truth: You are unfamiliar to ME
26 Then you will say, ‘But we ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ 27 And he will reply, ‘I tell you, I don’t know you or where you come from. Get away from me, all you who do evil.’ 28 “There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, for you will see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and all the prophets in the Kingdom of God, but you will be thrown out.
- Basically they say: we did life with You, You were here among us…
- But God has chosen who He will bring into His kingdom / establish relationship
- We are not in relationship (as HE defines it) and He will not be in their presence
- Those who realize their fate will mourn / they will recognize the divide
29 And people will come from all over the world—from east and west, north and south—to take their places in the Kingdom of God. 30 And note this: Some who seem least important now will be the greatest then, and some who are the greatest now will be least important then.”
- The Kingdom will be made up from people all over the world
- Our way of evaluating who is important is shown to be opposite of God’s way
- What matters to God is not what matters to the world / society / modern culture
Following Christ / God’s Kingdom, is about helping people where they are, not religious forms & rules.
God’s Kingdom is built by small faith-filled actions that grow into bigger things & influences.
God’s Kingdom ways lead us to an entrance into that Kingdom, it’s a specific way.
God’s Kingdom is not about being in the right place & doing things; it is a relationship
The inhabitants of God’s Kingdom will be diverse and without ‘worldly significance’.
How can we avoid making our ‘Religious Protocols’ more important than people?
What are some small actions you can take to seek and distribute God’s influence?
Is obedience to God’s Word analogous to the narrow door?
How can you move from being around God, to being in a deeper relationship with God?