December 8, 2019

Sermon – Tenth Sunday of Luke 2019

Pastor’s Sermon
The Tenth Sunday of Luke
by V. Rev. Timothy Baclig
December 8, 2019

The setting of the miracle of the woman spoken of in today’s Gospel reading is at
a synagogue where the Lord was teaching. The love of God and His great mercy is
central to the Gospel lesson. It is the good news of this season when we prepare to
celebrate His birth.
The Lord repeatedly called the people to repentance from the practice of a
religion that fails to practice mercy. Every Lenten season, our lessons point to the heart
of what it means to be non-hypocritical. He rebukes those who claim to know the Law as
being ignorant of the very thing in which they should be more knowledgeable and better
instructed than anyone.
“You hypocrites,” He says, “Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or
donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a
daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the
Sabbath day from what bound her?”
The ruler of the synagogue condemned the Lord for healing on the Sabbath. For
him religion consisted of the observance of laws that could not be set aside even for the
sake of mercy. The ruler’s reaction to the healing of the woman who “had a spirit of
infirmity for eighteen years” illustrates how radically misunderstood and misused the
Law had become among those whom God had so favored and of whom he expected so
much.
You may recall from one of the readings of the twelve Gospels (Matthew
23:13-39) on Great and Holy Thursday the words of our Lord: “Woe to you teachers of
the Law, Sadducees, Pharisees hypocrites”… You brood of vipers…” …[loving] the
praise of men more than the praise from God…”
In today’s lesson the Lord heals the woman by His word—“Woman, you are set
free from your infirmity”—and then by His touch: “He put His hands on her; and
immediately she was straightened up and praised God” (vv.12-13). The miracle is
remarkable for two reasons: First, the woman was not seeking to be healed and no one
spoke on her behalf. Second, the Lord demonstrates that He is the incarnate God by the
simple declaration that she was healed.

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