Tough and Tender

Posted: January 24, 2016 in TLCC
Tags: , , , , ,

In watching movies, we saw tough guys who are tender when it comes to kids, family or ladies. For example, who would have thought of Arnold Schwarzenegger, with all those muscles, be a “family oriented” guy. In fact, he became the governor of California because of his films, but the public never knew of his family issues until it came out in the open. Or how about Dwayne Johnson, who is known as “the Rock”. He would play the role of the tooth fairy. Or Vin Diesel, who would play the role of “the Pacifier.” The movies of tough guys who would be tender deep inside isn’t really an original idea. Jesus is a tough guy, but also a tender one.

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In Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus in a road trip (sort of since He is on His way to Jerusalem). He stops by a synagogue and was in a position to preach. Synagogues are like modern day churches, actually, we get the idea of Sunday service from the style of the synagogue. He preaches and then He saw a woman, who was disabled for 18 years. We learn that the woman was bent and couldn’t straighten herself up. Jesus sees her, calls her out and heals her…on a Sabbath.

That would have been a good ending but the ruler of the synagogue, in our language, the pastor of the church, sees what happens, pick a fight with Jesus by telling the people that it is wrong to heal on the Sabbath, and the word that was used was “indignant”. Jesus then confronts the pastor and speaks toughly to him about being a hypocrite. The pastor was more concerned about animals than of people. Read the passage in Luke 13 and you would be amazed that Jesus is indeed tender towards those who need healing, and tough to those who are hypocrites. Here are some lessons we can learn from the passage.

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#1 Sometimes, sickness comes as a form of oppression, not necessarily a physical disease but rather a spiritual one. How do we know this? Luke is a physician by profession. Yet he would say that this disease is one of a “disabling spirit”. Why did this happen? We don’t really know except that God allowed it and that at this point, this disease was with the woman for 18 years.

#2 Jesus is the one who sees her. Jesus calls her and frees her from her disability. God is the one who draws us to himself. This is really the pattern we see with God. It is not us who goes to Him. It is Jesus who goes to us. He calls us, He sees us, and He is the one who made a way for us to come to Him. Religion is about man trying to do things in order to be near God. Jesus, on the other hand, makes a way for us to have a relationship with Him in order for us to come to the Father. It isn’t really our work, it is His!

#3 Jesus laid His hand and healed the woman. Jesus is someone who can heal and that is why we can pray for those who are sick. Don’t be afraid. If you are a Christian, we can pray to God. Ask for healing. Whatever sickness it is for His glory. We don’t know if God will heal in an instant or permanently, but God heals. So we can pray for the sick. How many of us would pray for the sick?

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#4 Religious people tend to have a very critical attitude and disposition and demeanor. Rather than rejoicing, criticizing. Always looking for what’s wrong. When we see ourselves criticizing or looking for faults, we no longer build up the kingdom but more of building our own kingdom. We obsessed in doing things rather than focusing on drawing people to God. So when our attitudes are more inclined to look for faults of others, or sometimes, when we look at the fault of churches like they don’t sing like us, they don’t pray the way we pray, or they do things we don’t do, we become critical instead of looking for ways to bring people to the kingdom. Rejoice if people attend other churches. Pray for those small groups that are thriving. We should not be like the religious leader who was indignant that Jesus healed on the Sabbath.

#5 Instead of talking to Jesus, the religious leader talks to people. He picks a fight with Jesus. The Biblical approach is talk to your brother straight. If you think you are right, approach that brother. Talk to him but at the same time, be open to a discussion because we might be wrong. Instead of shaming people when they do something we don’t like, approach him and go for a discussion.

Ravi Zacharias once tweeted something. He said…

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The analogy we can use here is that the law is a fence. They were made to protect us because the one who placed the fence, has a relationship with us and is protective of that relationship. God is the one who placed the laws so we would be in a relationship with Him. Now, leaders keep on adding to the fence that what happens is that instead of having a yard to play with, we became so constricted with the fences that are placed within the fence that also have fences that it became a prison. People will be in that prison operated by fear but fear can only keep a person for a period of time. One day, people would just start leaving because of those fences.

Let us come to a point where we are tender to those who are sick, to those who are hurting, to those who need God. Be sensitive to people around us that we would pray for them. When was the last time we laid hand on our brother and prayed for them? At the same time, let us be tough towards those leaning towards hypocrisy. Although we ought to caution ourselves not to fight by telling other people but instead, confront the brother (or sister) privately at first. That is the biblical way.

Can you do me a favor? If these ideas resonate with you, would you:

  • REACT. Do something.
• RESPOND. Leave a comment on this post.
• REPOST. Repost this link on Twitter, Facebook or your blog.

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