Breaking the Mold
Ask God to help you be aware of any temptations you face to practice hypocrisy, and to avoid them.
Read Luke 13:10-17
 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,  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.  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.  Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”  The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your 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 long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”  When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhy did Jesus call these people hypocrites?
Jesus’ conflict with the authorities comes to a head again as he heals a woman on the Sabbath. This is clearly against the traditions handed down by the leaders and authorities so it is no surprise that the synagogue leader is indignant. He is also aware that his own authority in the community is under threat. If people break the rules, then what would happen to his status? Jesus makes a habit of disturbing the status quo. The demands he makes on our lives will at times challenge our own traditions and upbringing. How will we respond when he does so? We may well feel like the synagogue leader: threatened, unsure and ultimately humiliated. But the issue is not really breaking rules; it is the excuses we use for not acting to meet the needs of those around us. When did we last walk by the beggar or ignore the appeals for help in a global crisis? Jesus meets the woman at her point of need and challenges us to do the same with the people we meet.
Ask God to show you those you meet today who need help and to follow Jesus’ example by meeting their needs.
Lord, may I never use rules as an excuse not to help someone in need. Give me a heart for others.
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