I'm hitting two stories with one stone today. The first one is in Luke 13:10-17. The story of Jesus healing the woman who had been crippled by a spirit and for 18 years and was bent over and could not straighten up. I love the fact that He called her forward where everyone could see her and put His hands on her and said "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Immediately she straightened up and praised God!
The synagogue leaders were angry because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath. I love how Jesus pointed out that basic compassion was shown to animals on the Sabbath, so how much more compassion should be shown to a suffering woman!
He called her daughter of Abraham. This description of the woman shows how special she was to God. Jesus pointed out there was no better day on which to overcome Satan than on the Sabbath.
Reading this wonderful story of the compassion of Jesus toward this woman took me back several years to my first meeting during an outreach in Japan with Fran Edmonds and Pastor Helen.
Our first meeting was in a tiny little church in Japan with a small group of people in attendance. I noticed a woman sitting in the first row all bent over. She looked sad and weary as she tried to join in the worship.
As I spoke, all I could see was this woman and one man who listened to the message so intently. After the service we opened a time for prayer. We went first to the little bent over woman to pray for her. She kept saying something as we prayed. The interpreter who had never prayed for anyone said, "She keeps saying hot, hot! All of a sudden this stooped over woman jumped up and threw her hands in the air and started running around laughing, and clapping with her hands in the air.
She finally told us through the interpreter that she had been bent over for 10 years. She had come to the meeting worried about how she could take care of herself because she had no children to help her. She kept saying "Free, free, free. She helped fix the lunch, but she still kept moving her feet and laughing with joy as she served us.
The compassion and love Jesus has for all of us is without measure. The same God who healed the woman in Luke, is the same God of compassion today. Let your faith soar to the great Healer. He can touch you even as you read these words because He loves you.
My second thought to share with you today is the parable of the weeds in Matthew13. The farmer sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was sleeping, the enemy came and sowed weeds in his field and went away. The servants came to him and asked "Do you want us to pull up the weeds?" He answered, "No, while you are pulling the weeds, you might pull up some good stuff.
Again, my mind flew back to when I had a choir of young people. People were bringing friends to church, and because this was an outreach, my dad encouraged me to tell people all they had to do to be part of the choir was to smile and love Jesus.
There were some who came who had great smile, but didn't have a clue about who Jesus was. My Dad said, "Let them all in. If they don't love Jesus now, they will, or they won't be able to stand it and will leave of their own accord. He said, "If you pull them out, we might lose the one's Jesus wants.
So kids, with long hair, some still on all kinds of drugs came in, but you guessed it! It wasn't long until they found Jesus, and then they brought their friends, and they found Jesus and the multiplication began.
My greatest desire is to see all of us have multiplication in mind. Bring on those weeds! We'll love them into the Kingdom. Let's deliberately look for those opportunities to "Bring them in, Bring them in, Bring them in from the fields of sin, Bring the broken ones to Jesus."