Sermon: Glorifying or Grumbling: Two States of the Human Heart (Luke 13:10-17)

Luke 13.6-17

Glorifying or Grumbling, Two States of the Human Heart

Luke 13:10-17

TT- A believer hungers for the Word of God and then lives their life in submission to it.

At first reading this section in Luke’s account seems a little out of place.  He’s just shown us Jesus’ words regarding the vital need for everyone to repent.  Jesus has given us God’s will for us when He very clearly said, unless you repent you all will likewise perish.  Then, He tells us a parable showing the fig tree that should be producing fruit but is not.  Israel had been given such privileges and yet the people would not repent and would not bear fruit.  However, Jesus in His mercy is depicted as the vinedresser and gives Israel one last opportunity to repent.  Rather than turning from sin and turning to Christ and embracing Him as the One sent from God, they refuse.  History tells us that this generation of Israelites perished.

Luke shows us in this text today the difference between one who has repented and is producing fruit and one who remains hard-hearted and in his sin.

I’d like to reread the parable from last week because it is the connection between these two accounts.

Please hear God’s Word…

Lk 13:6 And he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.

Lk 13:7 And he said to the vinedresser, ‘Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?’

Lk 13:8 And he answered him, ‘Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure.

Lk 13:9 Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Lk 13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

Lk 13:11 And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.

Lk 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

Lk 13:13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.

Lk 13:14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Lk 13:15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?

Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

Lk 13:17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

Prayer for obedience to God’s Word…

1. One Bearing Fruit

Lk 13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

Lk 13:11 And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.

Lk 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

Lk 13:13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.

We’re told that Jesus is teaching.  The Word of God is teaching the Word of God.  Whenever Jesus taught there was a stark contrast between His teaching and what the people were used to.  He taught as One who had authority not as their scribes taught.

I’ve had some experience in teaching and preaching in churches that are not used to really hearing the Word of God preached.  Their hearts were cold to the Word.  There was definitely no application that took place.  Then I’ve preached in churches that the people were hungry for the Word and their attention was fixed on the Word and they desired more.  They wanted to discuss application and were eager to hear more.

What happens when the Word of God teaches the Word of God to a repentant and believing heart?

Lk 24:30 When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.

Lk 24:31 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And he vanished from their sight.

Lk 24:32 They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”

What we need to see in this section is that Jesus taught the true pure Word of God.  Those folks who were believers loved it and were changed.  Those who were daily practicing biblical repentance were fixed on Jesus’ words.  The end result was a changed heart and then next, God was glorified.

Luke describes for us one particular person in the congregation that day.  A woman who had a disabling spirit for eighteen years.

For 18 years she struggled with this disabling spirit.  We don’t know the details but we do know that she would have been someone everyone no doubt avoided.

Luke also tells us She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself.  We’ve all seen pictures of people who walk all bent over.  She could not straighten herself.  She was very good at looking down but rarely looked up.  A demonic spirit brought on her disability.  She would not easily be seen in a crowd because her height was compromised by her condition.  She was bent over and mostly invisible in a crowd…except there was someone there that day that saw her.

Lk 13:12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

Every time Jesus heals physically, He also heals spiritually.  The physical is mentioned because it was what was visible.  These healings are always mentioned because of the amazement Luke has as a doctor.  He knew that there were issues of muscles, tendons, and nerves involved.  He also knew the amazing miracle this was.

Jesus took the initiative.  God always takes the initiative.  She did not come to Jesus and ask to be healed.  She was soaking in the teaching and Jesus saw her.

What would her life have been like if she had stayed home from church that day?  I’m sure it was painful for her to make the journey on the Sabbath to worship every week.  I’m sure she would have been more comfortable lying in a ball in bed at home.  She was in pain but she was hungry for the Word of God.

What does it take for you to decide to stay home?  I think we can all learn a wonderful lesson from this woman’s commitment to be in attendance.  Look at what she experienced by being there that day and what she would have missed out on.

If we look at the original language we discover an amazing play on words…

Satan bound her and Jesus literally looses her.  She was bent over and Jesus straightens her.  She is a wonderful example of fruit bearing.  For her at that time in her life being in worship was bearing fruit.  What a wonderful example of trust and repentance Luke shows us in this passage.  She was healed from her illness and from her sin and she glorifies God.

TT- A believer hungers for the Word of God and then lives their life in submission to it.

2. One Using Up the Ground

Lk 13:14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.”

Lk 13:15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?

Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

Lk 13:17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

Here is the heart of the unrepentant.  This man’s heart did not burn within him as he heard the Word of God teaching the Word of God but rather he placed himself in authority over God’s Word.

This is the fruit of unrepentance: One who refuses to repent will always place himself over the Word and pretend to be an authority over it.  This is exactly what we see in the synagogue ruler.  This is a dangerous place to be.  When we read or hear the Word of God, we must immediately submit to it.

There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.

There were Sabbath laws.  Nowhere in God’s Law does it say anything about not being allowed to heal or do good on the Sabbath.  Rather than glorifying God like this healed lady does, this man is angry that Jesus has healed her on the Sabbath.

Here, Luke portrays fruitless Israel.  They should have been bearing fruit but were not.  In fact, they were a hindrance to the work of God.

The unrepentant religious leader rebukes Jesus.  Then Jesus rebukes him:

Lk 13:15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?

Lk 13:16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?”

Notice, Luke immediately shows Jesus’ authority is reestablished as he refers to Jesus as Lord.

The real issue was that the Scribe had placed a man-made tradition over the Law of God and over the need of this lady.  God’s law and her well-being were insignificant compared to their made up religion.  This was a clear picture of Israel during the time of Jesus.  Just like in the parable, after an extended time of patience by God, she would be cut down.

The religious leader had no compassion for this woman or anyone else… There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.

Jesus rebukes this unrepentant arrogant leader and then shows from God’s Word that if a donkey can be lead away to be watered (which was work) then how much more should this woman, a daughter of Abraham be healed on the Sabbath?

The Jews had made an exception to God’s Law, which God did not authorize…

Dt 5:13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

Dt 5:14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter or your male servant or your female servant, or your ox or your donkey or any of your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates, that your male servant and your female servant may rest as well as you.

According to Deut. The Hebrew had to observe a strict Sabbath.  No work at all could be done.  However, they had watered down this law to allow for things they felt were ok.  The point is, they had determined that it was ok to water their donkeys but not ok to do good deeds and heal on the Sabbath.  Because Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath He could work and heal.  For 18 years this poor woman was unable to experience a Sabbath rest so Jesus takes the initiative and heals and gives her rest from her pain and suffering.

Jesus was also pointing to His Kingdom coming in their midst as He determines it is right to heal on the Sabbath.  Because He is the fulfillment of what the Sabbath had pointed to.  The Sabbath was a Jewish ceremonial law to be observed weekly.  It pointed to a Savior who would usher in a day of eternal Sabbath.

In the midst of Jesus rebuke, we are shown a picture of a man who was going through the motions of being religious but who did not bear any fruit.  Our Lord rightly calls him a hypocrite.  He pretended to be representing God to the people but the reality was he was keeping the people away from God.

Are we ever guilty of simply doing Christian things or going through the motions or pretending to be Christians while never bearing fruit?

Does the Word warm your heart?  Does worship excite your soul?  Does being with God’s people, even when your not 100%, bring you joy?

Jesus wants us to see the difference between true repentance and submission to the Word and a life of bearing fruit verses a life of unrepentant rebellion against the Word.

I pray you glorify God and not grumble against Him but submit to His authority.

I pray today we are hearing God’s Word and it is bearing fruit in our lives.  We are submitting to the authority of Christ and accurately examining ourselves and then taking the next step to repent.

I pray you are currently repenting and believing the Word of God.

TT- A believer hungers for the Word of God and then lives their life in submission to it.

LORD’s SUPPER…

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