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LESSON 2 - MOVED THROUGH COMPASSION (LUKE 13:10-17)

Copr. 1997, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.  All Scripture references are to
the NIV unless otherwise noted. Suggested answers are found within
parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard.

INTRODUCTION: This week our study is the motivation for Jesus'
healing as revealed through the healing of a woman.

I. WHY?

     A. Why do you think Jesus' healed?

          1. What motivated Him to heal the sick while He was here
          on earth? (Let's look at a story of healing to see if we
          can find out.)
          
II. THE HUMPBACK

     A. Turn with me to Luke 13:10-17. While I read this, I ask you
     to put yourself in this story. Read.

     B. Tell me what is wrong with this woman? (Her back was bent
     so that she could not stand up straight.)

          1. How would this disability interfere with your life?
          (Difficulty reaching up. Hard to carry things.)

          2. Do you think it was painful? (Back problems generally
          are painful.)

          3. Was this a birth defect? (No. The fact that v.11 
          specifies 18 years makes it appear that it was something
          that came on her.)

          4. Just how did this bent back "come on her?" (Both v.11
          and v.16 say that Satan was responsible for her back
          problem.)

          5. Was she a sinful woman? (It seems that, like last 
          week, we have a person who is thought to be under the
          sway of sin.  However, note that she is in the synagogue
          on Sabbath.)

          6. Let's look at our composite picture of this woman. She
          was probably in pain, had a hard time doing her daily
          activities and was thought to be in her situation because
          of her sin!  Would it be reasonable for someone in her
          place to think she had a lousy life?(Yes!)

     C. Did this woman rush in to be healed by Jesus?  Or was she
     a worshipper?  

          1. Had she come to worship or be healed?  


          2. How does she compare with the 4 guys last week and the
          paralytic? (Nothing like them. Instead of forcing her way
          into the attention of Jesus, v. 12 says that Jesus "saw
          her" and "called her forward.")

     D. Notice the timing in vv. 12-13. Jesus first says, "You are
     set free from your infirmity." Next, He puts his hands on her
     and she straightens up.

          1. What was her infirmity? (Obviously her back was one.)
          What about (v.11) "being crippled by a spirit?"

          2. Remember last week in the parable of the paralyzed guy
          who went through the roof, Jesus first said, "Your sins
          are forgiven."  Is this like that?

     E. What motivated Jesus to heal her?

          1. Jesus tells us (Luke 12:6) that God remembers even the
          sparrows. How is it that God "did not notice" this woman
          at any time in the past 18 years?  How is it that she
          gets "noticed" only when Jesus is in the synagogue that
          Sabbath?

               a. Our lesson suggests that Jesus healed because of
               compassion. Does this show that something more
               important is at work than compassion?  If it was
               just compassion, and God knew about her for the
               past 18 years (because He even knows about small
               birds), wouldn't compassion require an earlier
               healing?

                    (1) If you are in pain, would you say I was 
                    showing compassion if I waited 18 years to
                    relieve your pain?

(We are going to have to unravel more of this story before we can
answer this question. So let's push on.)

III. THE AUTHORITY

     A. Let's read v.14 again. Is the synagogue ruler yelling at
     Jesus? (Not directly. He is yelling at the people for coming
     to be healed on Sabbath. The message is for Jesus.)

          1. Is the ruler right?  Is there any reason why this 
          woman needs to be healed "in church" as opposed to on
          Friday?  Is this some kind of emergency?

     B. Jesus answer calls the ruler a hypocrite for being willing
     to water his animal on Sabbath, but not willing to allow Jesus
     to heal the woman on Sabbath.  

          1. Isn't Jesus missing an important difference? Don't 
          animals need to be watered every day?  Fed every day?  

          2. This woman's need to be healed is not a daily
          requirement is it? The healing problem could have been
          fixed once for all on Friday -- and she would not have
          needed to be healed again on Sabbath, right? 

IV. UNTIED

     A. Let's look at Jesus' reproof to the Synagogue ruler from
     another angle.  Is there any way that the ruler could have
     watered his donkey without untying it and taking it down to
     the water on Sabbath? (I am no farmer, but I have a dog. (My
     dog is one of those "fluff dogs" -- so maybe she does not
     qualify as a "real dog.") My vast knowledge of animal
     husbandry, gained from my fluff dog, is that if you wanted to
     avoid working on Sabbath you would bring the water in a bowl
     over to the dog!)  

          1. Why not put water in a bucket by the animal on Friday
          so that it could drink on Sabbath without breaking the
          Sabbath?!  Do they need us to think of everything?!

     B. Is Jesus' point the watering of the animal?  Is that 
     the focus of His illustration? (No!  The focus of the
     illustration is the UNTYING! Look at this carefully. The
     untying of the animal allowed it to drink on its own.  The
     untying of the woman allowed her to straighten up.)

     C. How was the woman "untied?" (Satan's power was broken.)

          1. Which was the focus of Jesus' miracle for her?  The
          straightening of her back? Or the defeat of Satan's power
          over her? (Defeat of Satan.)

          2. Can you think of any reason now why God waited 18 
          years to heal her? (Jesus came to this earth to defeat
          Satan's power. He came to "untie" you and me.  This
          lady's curved spine was quite secondary to Satan's grip
          over her.  

               --That is why Jesus could wait 18 years.
               --That is why Jesus FIRST said to her "You are set
                    free from your infirmity.
               --That is why Jesus first said to the paralyzed guy,
               "Your sins are forgiven.")

     D. Remember that I started out asking about Jesus' motivation
     to heal?  What do you say now was His motivation?

          1. Is it compassion?

          2. Do you see compassion in His waiting 18 years? (Jesus
          has the intelligent approach to compassion. Straightening
          her back was not the root problem. Untying her from sin
          attacked the root problem. Untying us from sin is the
          main goal. The bent back was just one (of many) symptoms
          of sin. Jesus gave His life to "untie" her from sin. 
          Talk about compassion!  Talk about sacrifice! That is the
          ultimate compassion to give up your life to free
          another.)

     E. What can we do today to "untie" people from Satan?

          1. Are indiscriminate handouts to homeless people 
          "untying" them?

               a. Are temporary fixes helping or hurting the 
               "tying" situation?  

                    (1) Consider last quarter's parable of the 
                    prodigal son.  Would a "temporary handout"
                    have helped him when he was in "pig city?"

               b. Turn with me to 1 Timothy 5:9-13, 15. Read. Does
               this appear to be harsh?

                    (1) What is Paul's point? (He understands the
                    most important part of helping someone is the
                    "untying" part. If you were to help the
                    "younger" widows, you will enable them to be
                    idlers and thus cause them to be more tied to
                    Satan (v. 15) instead of freeing them from
                    being tied to Satan.)
                    
               c. Do we, like Jesus,  have to give up our lives to
               help those in need? Is that the only true
               compassion? How can we do that? (You have to take
               your time to learn about them and their situation.
               This means that just giving out money is not the
               best answer and may not even be the right answer.)

               d. Notice Jesus healed in the synagogue. We (I) am
               fearful about tromping downtown to "give up my
               life" for the needy. Is it OK to wait for them to
               come to me? (Hope so. Cannot help everyone, but can
               help those in your path. The idea that we must take
               the steps that will "untie" the individual from sin
               strengthens the idea that your obligation is to
               those who cross your path, those whose situations
               you can know -- and not everyone in the world.)

     F. What can we say in conclusion is Jesus principal goal in
     healing? (To help break the bondage of sin.)

          1. Does that help us to get a little illumination into
          the question of why Jesus heals some people today in
          response to prayer and does not heal others? (We may have
          a different goal.  Our goal is to give our friend life.
          Jesus' goal is to break the bondage of sin for our friend
          and all those involved in the situation.)

V. NEXT WEEK: "His Healing Touch." Study!