Day 149: May 29, 2013

Today's Reading(s)

Luke 13:10-21 Read Online


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Today's Reflection

Key Verse(s)

When Jesus saw her, He called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability.”

—Luke 13:12

It's All About Perspective
by Jay Fennell, Adult Groups Minister, Brentwood Campus

A month ago, I attended a conference in Colorado Springs. As I drove around the city, I was enamored with the beauty of the Rocky Mountains.

I’d never seen the Rockies in person before, and I was mystified by the sheer majesty and size of them. It was a beautiful spectacle of God’s creation. Every time I left the hotel, I had to stop and observe the beauty.

However, I noticed that many of the locals didn’t have the same perspective as me. The novelty and beauty of the Rockies had worn off a bit. The beautiful sights had become commonplace for them, so much so that they weren’t even noticed much anymore.  

Their concern was their agenda, and the beauty all around them got lost in the to-do lists. I saw the mountains. The locals didn’t. It’s all about perspective.

In our story today, we once again see an occasion where Jesus saw someone when others didn’t. A woman, crippled for 18 years by an evil spirit, was at the synagogue on the Sabbath. Luke tells us she was bent over and couldn’t straighten up at all.

Without any appeal from her, Jesus saw her, called her forward, put His hands on her, and said, “Woman, you are free of your disability.” She straightens up and praises God for her healing. She was bound by an illness, but now she’s set free.

As expected, the synagogue ruler was outraged. Jesus “worked” on the Sabbath by healing this woman, breaking one of the many sundry laws the Jews religiously clung to. The ruler would rather 100 people suffer than 1 rule be broken.

Jesus confronted this man for his hypocrisy. He thought nothing of untying his ox or donkey from the stall and leading it to drink. Yet, he was miffed about one woman, bound by an illness, who was set free.

Jesus asserted her value—a “daughter of Abraham” and one deserving deliverance. The synagogue ruler could only see the religious laws and traditions that were broken. Jesus saw a person in need. It’s all about perspective.

If we’re honest, we probably tend to see from the perspective of the synagogue ruler more than from the perspective of Jesus. Our tendency is to be self-focused, concerned about our agendas, laws, and traditions. We’re consumed with seeing life from a worldly perspective and being blind to the needs of those around us.

One indicator of spiritual maturity is a Christ-centered perspective, one that intentionally looks for God at work in people, situations, and places. One with this perspective sees people in need, not necessarily by accident, but intentionally, looking for opportunities around them to touch someone and offer healing through Jesus. The perspective is outward, not inward.

Reflection Questions

  1. What personal agenda must be removed in your life so that you see people the way Jesus sees people?
  2. Are you so consumed with religious activities that you’ve lost sight of God at work around you?
  3. Whom do you see today that you could be Jesus to?

About the Author

Jay Fennell

Originally from Irmo, South Carolina, Jay graduated from the University of South Carolina and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Before joining the Brentwood Baptist staff in January 2013, he served as the Associate Pastor for Adult Discipleship at Lexington Baptist Church in Lexington, South Carolina. On the Brentwood Baptist staff, he oversees all aspects of on-campus group ministry to adults. His passion is connecting people to Jesus and helping them become more like Him as they move forward in their spiritual journeys. Jay is married to Erin and they have three children: Jack, Avery, and Mills.