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The church is sick, but why? We must confront fruitless religion before we can have revival and a powerful move of God.
In Luke 13:10-17, Jesus encounters a woman bent over for eighteen years because of a ‘disabling spirit’. Why was this woman disabled? Some people say her sins opened a door to the disabling spirit that bent her over. In the same way, some people wrongly believe that chronic illness, disability, and severe illness in the world today are the result of an individual’s sins or even an ancestor’s sins.
In Luke 13:1-5, Jesus speaks the truth. Jesus speaks about Galileans whose blood Pilate mixed with sacrifices, as well as eighteen people who died because a tower fell on them. Jesus firmly says that their suffering did not mean they were worse sinners. “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish,” Jesus said (v. 5).
Then in Luke 13:6-9 Jesus tells a parable about a fig tree. The barren tree produces no fruit. Where is the good fruit? When the tree is nurtured and still produces no good fruit, Jesus says that the tree will be cut down.
We must get to the root of the problem. A daughter of Abraham should not be bent over. She was not bent over because of her sins! Something has gone wrong in Israel. She was a victim of hypocritical religion.
Hypocrisy is making religion powerless and fruitless today. It’s time we start bearing the kind of good fruit Jesus is looking for—the resurrection life that should be found in our churches! If we repent of our hypocrisy, healing will come. Revival will come.
Luke 13:1-17 (NIV)
1 Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. 2 Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? 3 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. 4 Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. 7 So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ 8 “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. 9 If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
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