The Book of Luke, The Hypocrisy Of Religion - Lesson 171
Luke 13:10-17, And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 16And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
One of Satanís chief aims is the propagation of religion.
For religion binds men and women to its system of belief in such a way that it is almost impossible to get loose from its bindings.
One of Satanís most effective tools for chaining the souls of men and women is religion.
Satanís most effective people are religious people for religious people are inoculated from the truth far more than people who have no religion.
Satan has brought about all religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Animism, Judaism, and even most of Christianity.
He has even invented the religions of atheism, humanism and Satanism.
He does not care what people believe as long as they do not believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
He has so constructed these religions to be such that eyes are kept tightly shut and ears are deaf to anything except that religion.
Were it not for the mercy and grace of God, truth could not penetrate the walls of religion that Satan has built around most people of this world.
Jesus spoke of the satanic foundation of religion when he pronounced this woe upon the most religious of the Jews, the scribes and Pharisees.
Matthew 23:15, Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.
So the purpose of the religion of the scribes and the Pharisees was to make children for Satan, children of hell.
The Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesusí use of the word hypocrite 20 times and every time it is used in connection with religious people or religious practices.
It is almost as if religion and hypocrisy are synonyms.
If religion promotes salvation by works then this is the height of hypocrisy for man then portrays himself with an ability that for him is impossible to display, the ability to stand before God in his own righteousness.
Religion puts on the mask of righteousness to cover up the reality of sinfulness.
Look at my outward covering of righteousness but underneath lies utter sinfulness.
That is the height of hypocrisy!
Satanís ways are diabolical which means they are malicious, atrocious, nefarious, and outrageously wicked.
Satan has created religion to damn men and to damn women.
He then uses the hypocrisy displayed by religion to turn other people against religion.
And in turning from religion men will not come to Jesus Christ for they include Him as part of the religions that they reject.
They do not separate Jesus Christ from the religious systems that Satan has created and therefore they too will be damned.
How ironic it is that those who do not wish to engage in the hypocrisy of religion and because of this separate themselves from religion will also spend eternity in Hell with those from whom they separate themselves in order to not be called a hypocrite.
Just because you are not a hypocrite does not mean that you are right with God.
You are only right with God through the door that he made for you to get right through and that door is the Lord Jesus Christ.
God requires no religion to get to Him, he only requires that you come to him by Jesus Christ.
John 14:6, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Religious people are not open to the Gospel of Jesus Christ for their minds are cemented in such a way that they will not allow truth to enter their mind nor their heart for it will always conflict with their religion.
Without the hindrance of religion, the Gospel would be much more effective in the minds and hearts of men.
Paul spoke of Satanís devices when he wrote in:
II Cor. 4:3-4, But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Except for the truth: that with God all things are possible, none would be saved for Satanís bindings are almost impenetrable.
With regard to a rich man entering the kingdom of Heaven Jesus said in:
Luke 18:25, For it is easier for a camel to go through a needleís eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 26And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? 27And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
I believe this could well be said also with regard to religious people.
Those who are born into the family of God through Jesus Christ are not to be robots, we are not to be so wrapped up in religion and religious practices that we cannot receive the truth of Godís word.
Our God has given us a mind to be used for his glory and he expects us to come to him and to reason together as he has said in:
Isaiah 1:18, Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:
This word of the Lord is hostile to religion for religion fixes the mind on things that are not supported by scripture.
This fixation opposes truth at every juncture.
Someone has said ďWhere knowledge ends, religion begins.Ē
Religion is comfortable for it turns off the mind to truth.
It is like a comfortable recliner chair where the mind goes into limbo.
Paul was anti religious for he knew that his mission was to preach Christ and Christ alone.
He told the Corinthians in:
I Cor. 2:2, For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
Religion concentrates on works, Christianity concentrates on Jesus Christ.
I remember as a boy going to Sabbath School in the Seventh Day Adventist Church.
This was religion for there was little concentration on Christ but much concentration on the observance of the seventh day as the Sabbath.
This is religion. Concentration on religious practices rather than concentration on Jesus Christ.
When we witness do we witness Christ or do we witness our church, our practices, our ways, our religious habits.
So the Holy Spirit includes this passage in the book of Luke about the healed woman for our learning to teach us of Satanís devices with regard to religion.
The passage that we have read in Luke 13 reveals to us the heart of the ruler of the synagogue.
His mind was fixed because of his religion and even the miraculous healing by the Son of God himself of a horribly crippled woman would not open that religious mind to truth.
We see here a collision between truth and religious conviction.
We see here an example where men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction.
This is so abundantly clear in our day as we witness the brutality of so called religious people who think they are doing Godís favor as they blow up themselves along with multitudes of innocent people.
We see here what Jesus Christ thinks of this manís religious conviction for this manís religion is designed to blind him.
It is designed to blind him from a most unconcealed manifestation of truth, that of the miraculous works of God himself in the life of this poor crippled woman.
The scene has now changed from Jesus teaching the multitudes, to him teaching in a synagogue.
We see in the book of Luke an escalating conflict with the Jewish religion to such an extent that the Lord Jesus Christ will, from this point on, no longer be allowed to appear in the synagogues.
At least we find no futher mention by Luke of such appearances.
We find in this passage a woman in the synagogue who had been demonically afflicted with a crippling back problem for 18 years.
Her infirmity was clearly described and clearly obvious to all
in the synagogue for she was bowed together.
The Greek word used here for bowed together clearly indicates that she was bent completely forward and utterly unable to straighten herself up or to look upward.
This woman would never be welcomed by Benny Hinn, or Oral Roberts for she was too far gone to be healed by either.
Her infirmity was much to much for modern healers who only choose those whose infirmities are hidden from view.
Jesus saw her condition and had pity on her and took the initiative and sought her out.
He did not go to her but called her to himself.
I can imagine the scene as this woman who could hardly walk in her condition laboriously responded to Jesusí command.
This of course interrupted his preaching but it also allowed for all to witness this great miracle that Jesus did for this poor woman.
He did not intend to keep this secret but this healing was open for all to see but it was done on the Sabbath.
12And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
Her response was immediate.
The change in her was miraculous for she stood up straight and began glorifying God.
I donít suppose worship of God like this was ever witnessed in this synagogue.
What a happy and joyous occasion it was as it should have been and Luke tells us:
Ö.all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
But not all were filled with joy for there was one who was filled with indignation.
Indignation is extreme anger, mingled with contempt, disgust or abhorrence.
The word includes the emotion of grief with a feeling of pain because of what was witnessed.
The ruler of the synagogue and some others, called adversaries in verse 17, were not happy at all.
They had no compassion on the woman.
They did not rejoice in her great deliverance from 18 years of this crippling disease.
In contrast to the joy of many, the ruler of the synagogue was mad.
He was incensed, but note that he was not man enough to confront Jesus.
Instead, he went about rebuking the people, demanding that if they wanted to be healed there were six days in the week for such things, but not the Sabbath.
This is the power of religion. How blind can you be?
Jesus called the man and those who agreed with him hypocrites.
There was much about this rulerís objections which were hypocritical.
For example, he says that there are six days on which people can be healed.
How many healings do you think occurred in that synagogue?
Do you think that this woman could have come back on the following day and been healed?
Not if Jesus had left!
I suspect that this woman was a ďregularĒ at this synagogue, but she had not found healing and most likely no sympathy in 18 years.
How could the ruler of the synagogue dare to even suggest that healing would be available at some other time?
Had he ever seen the like of what he had just witnessed?
Here we see that most of those who were present were actively praising God ó worshipping as they had never done before while this religious leader was doing everything possible to ďshut downĒ what was going on.
He could not allow such works to occur in his synagogue on the Sabbath.
But what did he allow to occur on the Sabbath when it came to his animals?
Jesus Christ came to the point.
He highlighted his hypocrisy in allowing the common duties owed to beasts of burden or beasts from which they got their food or wool.
They would allow works to benefit one of their animals but would not allow works to benefit this poor crippled woman.
The rabbis were greatly concerned that animals be treated well.
On the Sabbath, animals could be led out by a chain or the like as long as nothing was carried (Shabbath 5:1).
Water could be drawn for them and poured into a trough, though a man must not hold a bucket for the animal to drink from (Erubin 20b, 21a).
They would loose their donkey on the Sabbath, and let it drink, but they would prohibit Jesus from loosing this woman from Satanís bondage, which had lasted now 18 long years.
Any compassion that they had was selective.
It was self‑centered, self-serving and hypocritical.
As it was usual when Jesus Christ spoke there were two responses to his stinging rebuke of the hypocrisy of this Jewish leader and his supporters.
The people who rejoiced with the woman loved it, rejoicing over all that Jesus was saying and doing.
The opponents, however, were humiliated.
They were not sorry. They were not corrected.
They were just put to shame.
Their day, they must be telling themselves, will come. So it will seem.