Hands On Ministry
Gracious Lord, in the ups and downs of life, You are always the same. I know I can count on You.
Read Luke 13:10-17
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.
“Tell me how much you know of the sufferings of others and I will tell you how much you have loved them” (Helmut Thielicke). How very true!
Here we have another example of Jesus rebuking his opponents for their hypocrisy (15,16)–but it is more than that. What comes alive for me is how Jesus interacted with this poor woman. Note the details Luke gives us.
Jesus saw her (12). It’s easy to look away from people with physical or other problems. When I lived in the city, I learned to be alert for strange people on the street, and to avoid eye contact. Looking at troubled people opens the door to getting involved. But that’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t look away from the deformity; he looked at the person.
He called her forward (12). It must have been painful for this woman to let Jesus, and everyone else, see her disability, but acknowledging our brokenness before God and others is often the first step in the healing process. It requires that we trust God’s plan is loving and good, even if we can’t imagine how it could be (Rom. 8:28).
He put his hands on her (13). It was the touch of Jesus that changed this woman’s life. I once heard a member of a prison-ministry team say, “Sometimes, you just got to put your hands on somebody!” Jesus would have shouted “Amen!” He was committed to hands-on ministry, and we should be, too.
How can we explain the narrow-minded reaction of the synagogue ruler (14)? Perhaps he was jealous, or fearful or just wanted to be in control; we can only guess. What we do know is that any time we allow the form of godliness to become more important than loving our neighbor, we aren’t following Jesus (2 Tim. 3:1-5).
What type of hands-on ministry could you participate in? What first step could you take towards getting involved?
Loving Father God, I ask for helping, healing, holy hands dedicated to serving You and helping others.
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