Questions Jesus Asked #98

Luke 13:10-16 – (similar to #16 – Matthew 12:11-12)  On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the 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.”

15 The Lord answered him, “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? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” NIV

Once again Jesus is confronted with the opportunity to heal someone on the Sabbath which had been declared as “work” by those whose religion had been primarily defined by rule keeping instead of loving God and loving others as oneself. When Jesus saw her, he acted immediately by calling her forward and freeing her from her infirmity! One would think that the whole synagogue would have broken out in praise; but no!  The synagogue ruler shut things down with a rebuke: “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” Continue reading

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Questions Jesus Asked #89

Luke 10:36-37 – “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

      The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

      Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  NIV

Jesus concludes the Parable of the Good Samaritan with this question. He told the parable in response to an expert in the Law’s question, “And who is my neighbor?”  Jesus didn’t directly answer the man’s question, but asked him to draw his own conclusion from the parable.  I think that sometimes Jesus asks us to draw our own conclusions from what is written and how it is acted out in life.  Many times the answer is surprising to us as it appears to be surprising to this expert in the Law.  Jesus had just related a story in which the hero was a Samaritan.  Most devout Jews despised Samaritans for a variety of reasons including their mixed ethnicity, their separation from the Davidic Kingdom, their acceptance of only the Torah as Scripture, and their mixture of pagan elements into worship of Yahweh. Continue reading

Questions Jesus Asked # 88

Luke 10:25-29 – On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

     26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    27 He answered: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

     28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

     29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” NIV

Quite often Jesus answered a question with a question because He knew that people’s questions often come with a preferred answer. It’s like your spouse asking, “Does this outfit look good on me?” Continue reading

Neighbor Loving

This week we’re celebrating with Bob Smith who recently received a kidney transplant and was able to discontinue the dialysis that he was on for over three years.  How was that possible? He has great neighbors!  Four of his neighbors volunteered to donate a kidney to him!  They went down to Indianapolis and were tested to see if they were a match and were healthy enough to donate.  One of them was the best choice – Deb McMurtrie. She gave Bob one of her kidneys, and it started working right from the start. No more dialysis!

Talk about putting actions to your words!  We’re going to honor these neighbors as we challenge ourselves to get better at neighbor loving.