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Luke 13:10-21

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 19, 2016


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Come out on Thursday nights to the Truth Project where we are learning to build a healthy, Biblical worldview.

If you can’t make it out on Thursday night, we are webcasting it live on Ustream, and we have decided to keep the video up until the following Tuesday.  If you missed last week’s, you can still catch it on our Ustream channel.

Here’s what’s happening this week:

Video:  Truth Project Teaser – Tour 4 - Theology

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

Jesus is on His way to Jerusalem for the final time.  He is making His way south, going from city to city, teaching in the synagogues.

13:10-17 Sabbath Healing

:10 Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.

:11 And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.

raise … upanakupto – to raise or lift one’s self up

in no waypanteles – all complete, perfect; completely, perfectly, utterly

She could not completely straighten up.

:11 was bent over

bent oversugkupto (“together” + “stooped”) – to bend completely forwards, to be bowed together

Present active participle

This woman has been bent over in two, unable to stand up straight for eighteen years. It’s because of …

:11 a spirit of infirmity

infirmityastheneia – want of strength, weakness, infirmity

spiritpneuma – wind; breath; spirit; a spiritual being; the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one

The word “spirit” could refer to either a demonic spirit, or it could an “attitude” that kept this woman doubled over.

:12 But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”

saweido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to pay attention, observe; to inspect, examine; to know

infirmityastheneia – want of strength, weakness, infirmity

:12 He called her to Him

he called herprosphoneo – to call to, to address by calling; to call to one’s self, summon

This woman didn’t come to Jesus for help, He reached out to her.

:12 you are loosed from your infirmity

you are loosedapoluo (“away from” + “loose”) – to let go free, release

Perfect passive indicative
This has already happened in the past and the results carry on to the present.

Jesus is describing this “infirmity” as something like a post to which the woman is tied up to with a rope.  She is bound to the infirmity.  Jesus is declaring that she is no longer tied to it.

:13 And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

He laidepitithemi – to put or lay upon

Aorist active indicative

immediatelyparachrema – immediately, forthwith, instantly

:13 she was made straight, and glorified God

she was made straightanorthoo (“again” + “straight”) – to set up, make erect; of a deformed person

Aorist passive indicative

glorifieddoxazo – to praise, magnify; to make glorious, clothe with splendor

Imperfect active indicative
I like to think of “glorifying” someone as shining a spotlight on something, or even putting them in the “credits” at the end of the movie.


Roll the credits

Jesus, God the Son, has performed a miracle in such a way that He brought glory and attention to God the Father. 
The Holy Spirit works in the same way.
(John 16:13–14 NKJV) —13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.

When the Holy Spirit is truly and fully working in a person’s life, the attention will be going to Jesus, not the Holy Spirit and not to the person.

Jesus said we ought to do something similar as well:
(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Personally, I prefer to do things in a way that brings attention to … ME.
Corrie Ten Boom used to tell the story about a proud woodpecker who was tapping away at a dead tree when the sky unexpectedly turned black and the thunder began to roll. Undaunted, he went right on working. Suddenly a bolt of lightning struck the old tree, splintering it into hundreds of pieces.  Startled but unhurt, the haughty bird flew off, screeching to his feathered friends, "Hey, everyone, look what I did! Look what I did!"
God is not thrilled when I draw attention to myself.
Ultimately, people who need help need God, not me.
When Moses initially set up the portable worship center in the wilderness, an amazing thing happened.  God sent fire from heaven and consumed the sacrifice right before their eyes.  The next thing that occurred got quite messy.
(Leviticus 10:1–3 NKJV) —1 Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. 2 So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. 3 And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace.

There were several things going on in this mess. 

We believe that the “profane” fire the boys were carrying was simply some kind of incense that God has not asked them to bring.

It’s also important to note that Aaron’s sons had probably been drinking a bit too much.  You can dig that out for yourself by studying the rest of the chapter.

But there was something else in play on that fiery day. Moses commented on it when he said (vs. 3):

“And before all the people I must be glorified.”

Perhaps Nadab and Abihu thought they belonged in the spotlight.  Even though God was the one who sent fire to burn the sacrifice, they were His priests, weren’t they?

So Nadab and Abihu jumped up to get into the spotlight.

I think that’s something we are all tempted to do whenever God is at work, whether it’s in a believer’s meeting and the gifts of the Spirit are operating, or whether it’s ministering to someone one-on-one, or when God gives you a word for someone, or you pray for someone and God answers their prayer.

It’s tempting to jump into the spotlight with God.

God is actually looking for people to work through in such a way that when the work gets done, God gets the credit, not the person.
The Bible says,
(2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV) For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him…

:14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

:14 the ruler of the synagogue answered

It was the ruler of the synagogue’ job to line up the readers and teachers for each gathering.

It was his job to pay attention to what was being said and scrutinize the doctrines being taught.

It was his job to maintain order, to make sure things proceeded according to tradition.

The ruler of the synagogue didn’t like what he just saw happen.

answeredapokrinomai – to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer

There may not have been a “question” asked, but the ruler is responding to what has just happened.

ruler of the synagogue archisunagogos – ruler of the synagogue.

It was his duty to select the readers or teachers in the synagogue, to examine the discourses of the public speakers, and to see that all things were done with decency and in accordance with ancestral usage.

indignationaganakteo – to be indignant, moved with indignation, be very displeased

had healedtherapeuo – to serve, do service; to heal, cure, restore to health

Aorist active indicative

the peopleochlos – a crowd; a throng; a multitude

ought to dei – it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper

It is necessary, it is proper, it is right for men to work six days a week.  There is nothing wrong with this statement.  The idea of the “Sabbath” was to make sure that people took a day to rest and seek the Lord.

to workergazomai – to work, labor, do work; to trade, to make gains by trading, “do business”

:14 not on the Sabbath day

This synagogue ruler is claiming that Jesus has broken the fourth commandment, which is to do no work on the seventh day (Ex. 20:8-11)

(Exodus 20:8–11 NKJV) —8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

I sure appreciate doctors and the hard work they do so we can be healed.


A new doctor had arrived in town. He could cure anything and anybody. Everyone was amazed with what he could do - everyone except for old Mr. Thompson, the town skeptic.
Grumpy old Mr. Thompson went to visit this “miracle doctor” to prove that he wasn’t anybody special. When it was time for his appointment he told the doctor, “Hey, doc, I’ve lost my sense of taste. I can’t taste nothin’, so what are ya goin’ to do?”
The doctor scratched his head and mumbled to himself a little, then told Mr. Thompson, “What you need is jar number 47.”
So the doctor brought the jar out, opened it, and told Mr. Thompson to taste it. He tasted it and immediately spit it out, “This is gross!” he yelled.
“Looks like I just restored your sense of taste, Mr. Thompson,” said the doctor. So Mr. Thompson went home...very mad.
One month later, Mr. Thompson decides to go back to the doctor and try once again to expose him as a fake, by complaining of a new problem. “Doc,” he started, “I can’t remember anything!”
Thinking he had the doctor stumped now, he waited as the doctor scratched his head, mumbled to himself a little, and told Mr. Thompson, “What you need is jar number 47, it’s...”
But before the doctor could finish his sentence, Mr. Thompson was cured and fled the room!

While our modern doctors need to take a day off, what Jesus was doing did not break the Sabbath Law.

What He broke was the Jewish traditions that had been handed down over centuries, not the actual Sabbath Law.
This “ruler” is pointing out that Jesus broke their own little “rules”.

:15 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

answeredapokrinomai – to give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer

Lordkurios – he to whom a person or thing belongs, about which he has power of deciding; master, lord

Jesus demonstrates His lordship in this instance with this reply.

:15 Hypocrite! hupokrites – an actor, stage player; pretender, hypocrite

The word “hypocrite” comes from the Greek theater. The ancient Greek actors would have masks showing happy faces or sad faces that they would hold up while they spoke. They were “play acting”, pretending to be somebody they weren’t.

This leader of the synagogue, along with others, might act like a caring individual when they took care of the needs of their animals, but in reality, their lack of caring showed up by how they didn’t care for people.

oxbous – an ox, a cow

assonos – an ass

stallphatne – a crib, a manger

to waterpotizo – to give to drink, to furnish drink; to water, irrigate (plants, fields etc.)

:15 each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox

loose luo – to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened

While those in the audience were sure to “loose” their animals, Jesus purposely uses the same basic word that was used to describe what He did for this woman, He “loosed” her.
This was the root of their hypocrisy, caring more for their animals than the people around them.
Present active indicative
They are currently, continually doing this.


Care for the right things

This leader of the synagogue cared more that people followed his rules, than that people would actually be helped.
He was more concerned that the synagogue be a “comfortable” place, than that he be stretched and challenged, and God be at work.
While we might care about our own man-made rules that make us feel “comfortable”, God cares about people.
I wonder if this doesn’t apply to the tragedy of what happened last week with the massacre in Orlando, Florida.
There was a horrible clash between two cultures, both of which we disagree with.
The teachings of Islam are not correct when it comes to defining who God is, how He works, and what He requires of us. 

We’re seeing how some of Islam has morphed as certain radical imams teach their followers to take the ideas of jihad literally, and wage war to kill the infidels.

Those within the LGBT community have another issue to deal with.

Our nation has adopted a worldview in which God is no longer the one to determine what is right or what is wrong.

We’ve slipped into a system based on “statistical morality”, or whatever the most people think is right is right.

When you take this worldview and marry it with the notion that man is basically “good” (which the Bible and historical evidence show us is false), then you are more likely to agree with Abraham Maslow’s famous “hierarchy of needs”.

The highest ideal Maslow encourages mankind to reach toward is “self-actualization” – to live out what you feel inside of you.

Our society has bought this idea of “self-actualization” wholesale.

We no longer ask questions about whether a thing is right or wrong, as long as you “feel” like it’s being true to yourself. 

If you feel like you’re a girl, then use the girl’s restroom.

Listen to where it leads…

Video:  Truth Project Tour 3 – Theodore Dalrymple

Dalrymple shared that one man thought he could only be complete by murdering his wife.  As our definition of morality continues to shift, this won’t seem so far-fetched in the future.

In contrast to self-actualization, Jesus said,

(Matthew 16:24 NKJV) Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.

There are bad things in all of us that don’t need to be “actualized”, they need to be “denied”.

The latest thing has been our nation applauding transgender folk because they are only trying to be true to their inner self.

Yet recent studies show that at some point in their life, 41% of transgender individuals will attempt suicide, compared to 4.6% of the general public.

Is transgender behavior really something we should promote, or something we should weep for?

Please don’t misunderstand me.

God grieves at the massacre that happened last week.

God doesn’t hate gay people, but that doesn’t mean that God approves of what He has called wrong.

God also doesn’t approve of heterosexual sin either.  God doesn’t approve of lying.  God doesn’t approve of greed.

God loved all sinners so much, He gave His only begotten Son to die on a cross and pay for our sins.

God’s desire is that sinners “repent”, or turn from their unhealthy ways and turn to follow Him.

When we do that, we become part of God’s family.

Video:  Fatherless to Fatherful

Both the shooter and the victims last week were being held captive or “bound” to dangerous ideologies.
(2 Timothy 2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

Jesus “loosed” the woman from the thing that held her captive. 

We too ought to be involved in “loosing” people from their captivity.

It doesn’t happen when we hate people.

It happens when we love them with gentleness, patience, and humility.

:16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

oughtdei – it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper

has bound deo – to bind tie, fasten; to bind, fasten with chains, to throw into chains; Satan is said to bind a woman bent together by means of a demon, as his messenger, taking possession of the woman and preventing her from standing upright

bonddesmon – a band or bond

be loosed luo – to loose any person (or thing) tied or fastened; to loose one bound, i.e. to unbind, release from bonds, set free

:16 ought not this woman … be loosed

Jesus taught:

(Matthew 16:18–19 NKJV) —18 And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19 And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”
(Matthew 18:18 NKJV) “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
If I understand this correctly in the light of this story with the crippled woman, Jesus gives us authority to “loose” people from their bonds, as well as to “bind” the forces that hold people captive, whether it’s demonic or an attitude.

I’m not attempting to minimize the demonic warfare going on around us, but wanting to also be careful that we don’t give the devil more credit than he’s due.

:17 And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.

:17 all His adversaries were put to shame

were ashamedkataischuno – to dishonor, disgrace; to put to shame, make ashamed; to be ashamed, blush with shame

adversariesantikeimai – to be set over against, opposite to; to oppose, be adverse to, withstand

It was obvious to everyone present, including the ruler of the synagogue, that Jesus had done exactly what was right and proper.

:17 all the multitude rejoiced

rejoicedchairo – to rejoice, be glad; to rejoice exceedingly

gloriousendoxos – held in good or in great esteem, of high repute; illustrious, honorable, esteemed; notable, glorious; splendid


A place for healing

Though there are going to be times when you will experience a “bondage” of conviction over your sins in church, church should also be a place where you experience healing and “loosing” from the things that bind you.

13:18-19 Mustard Tree

:18 Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?

:18 What is the kingdom of God like?

likehomois – like, similar, resembling

comparehomoioo – to be made like; to liken, compare; illustrate by comparisons

Jesus is going to give a couple of short parables, lessons which I believe were meant to illustrate what just happened.

We defined “parable” last week as an “earthly story with a heavenly meaning”.

It’s a story that uses metaphors or symbolic language to show what something is “like”.
It’s not uncommon for Jesus to talk about what the kingdom is “like”.
In Matthew, the phrase, “the kingdom of heaven is like” is found 11 times.

I don’t think Jesus is changing topics and starting a new subject.  I believe He is going to be commenting on what just happened.

:19 It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.”

:19 like a mustard seed

seedkokkos – a grain

mustardsinapi – mustard

The type of mustard native to the Middle East is Sinapis alba.

It is an “annual”, meaning it grows for a year and dies.  It does not just keep growing for years and years.

It can grow up to 27.5 inches (70 cm) tall.  Not exactly a “large tree”.

:19 the birds of the air nested in its branches

While some see this short parable to mean that it only takes the small seed of sharing the gospel to have a big effect, I think it’s actually a bit different.

Seeds in Jesus’ parables are a picture of God’s Word.  The sower threw seeds on the ground (Mat. 13) representing the spreading of God’s Word.

Mustard seeds are indeed small, but they grow into small bushes, not “great trees”.  There is something bizarre and abnormal about this kind of growth.

We might tend to think of birds as being cute or harmless, but in Scripture, not always so.

In Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seeds (Mat. 13), birds were a picture of Satan, gobbling up the seeds before they had a chance to take root and grow.
Some of you might recall our cute little hummingbird who built a nest right outside our kitchen window.
Let me bring you up to date on the latest.
Here’s a video of the teeny babies, taken about two weeks after they hatched.

Video:  Hummingbird babies

Not all birds are a nice and cute at hummingbirds.
Our backyard has another regular visitor, a California Scrub jay.
About a week ago I was at my kitchen window when our Scrub Jay came up to the hummingbird nest, perched on the side, and began pecking violently at it.  The mother hummingbird chased it away, but when I looked at the nest, one of the babies was gone.  About two hours later, I checked on the nest and the other baby was gone too.
Some birds are just plain evil.

I think Jesus is responding to this ruler of the synagogue and saying something like this,

In God’s kingdom, there is a kind of growth that can occur where things can get larger than they might normally get.  An unhealthy growth.
Churches can even grow bigger than they perhaps should because there are “birds” there that have not been dealt with.
Birds like this legalistic synagogue ruler.

13:20-21 Leavened Bread

:20 And again He said, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of God?

likenhomoioo – to be made like; to liken, compare; illustrate by comparisons

:21 It is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till it was all leavened.”

leavenzume – leaven

tooklambano – to take

hidegkrupto (“in” + “hide”) – to conceal in something

mealaleuron – wheat flour, meal

measuressaton – a kind of dry measure, 3 gallons (14 litres)

This is the Greek form of seah, a common Hebrew (Old Testament) dry measurement.

threetreis – three

leavenedzumoo – to leaven; to mix leaven with dough so as to make it ferment

:21 till it was all leavened

I think this parable is exactly like the last one.

Some might think this is saying that it only takes a little bit of the gospel to permeate an entire community, but that goes against the way the Bible interprets these things.

Leaven is always a picture of sin or evil in the Scriptures. (1Cor. 5:6)

(1 Corinthians 5:6 NKJV) —6 Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump?
The way leaven (or “yeast”) works is through decay and putrification.  As the leaven mixes in with the bread dough, it begins to break down the flour and produces chemical reactions that release gases and the dough rises.
You only need to put a little pinch of yeast into a lump of dough and if you let the lump sit long enough, the yeast will eventually permeate the entire lump of dough.

Jesus is warning the people in the synagogue that it only takes a little wickedness to permeate and affect an entire group.

This leader of the synagogue had an unhealthy attitude about Jesus healing this woman.  Attitudes like this can be destructive in a church.


Subtle Influences

We tend to be aware that certain people are a bad influence on us.
Parents become concerned when their kids start hanging around with kids who are drinking or doing drugs.
But think of our context – who is the one with the bad influence?
It’s the leader of the synagogue.
His bad influence is that of legalism.

Legalism isn’t bad because of too many rules.  God’s ways are “rules”, and they are good.

Legalism is bad because it stretches God’s rules and makes them something that God didn’t intend.


Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged.  One day a student nurse found an elderly gentleman—already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet—who insisted he didn’t need my help to leave the hospital. After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let the nurse wheel him to the elevator.  On the way down the nurse asked him if his wife was meeting him.  “I don’t know,” he said.  “She’s still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown.”

That’s taking the rules too far…

Note that in our current parable, the woman “took” the leaven, and then “hid” it in her flour.
It’s not just being exposed to bad influences that is the concern, but when you take it and hide it in your heart and mind that it begins to influence us.
Just as we should be aware of bad influences, there are also good influences we should pay attention to as well.
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We all influence others.  Be a good influence.