Sermon #32 Luke Sermons
Title: “ON ANOTHER SABBATH”
Text: Luke 6:6-11
Subject: The Healing of the Man with a Withered Arm
Why did the Lord Jesus do so many of his miraculous works, works of healing on the sabbath day? Why did he so often go out of his way to say and do things which he knew would be most offensive to the Pharisees? How does the Son of God meet rebel sinners? What was the nature and purpose of the sabbath? Who is Jesus Christ? Was he just a man, as many blasphemously assert; or is he both God and man in one glorious, inseparable person? Does it really matter what we think about who Christ is? What is involved in the Lord’s call? How does God call sinners to life and faith in Christ? What affect does the gospel of Christ and the power of his grace have upon men?
These are all questions which are clearly and decisively answered by the Holy Spirit in Luke 6:6-11. Here, Luke gives us a very brief, but very instructive, narrative of the healing of a man with a withered arm on the sabbath day.
Proposition: Like all of our Lord’s miracles, this miraculous healing is a picture of the saving operations of his grace, in and upon chosen sinners. The miracle was performed specifically to give us an instructive picture of God’s salvation.
Read the narrative with me. Then, I will draw your attention to four things in it.
(Luke 6:6-11) "And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. (7) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. (8) But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. (9) Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? (10) And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. (11) And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus."
I. The first thing we see in this passage is A DELIBERATE CONFRONTATION (vv. 6,7, and 9).
(Luke 6:6-7) "And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. (7) And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him."
(Luke 6:9) "Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?"
The preaching of the gospel is always confrontational. God’s servants are sent to his enemies and sent to confront them, not to coddle them, pamper them, and bargain with them, but as the ambassadors of God himself, to confront them with the claims of the sovereign Lord. There is no such thing as faith in Christ apart from surrender to Christ as Lord (Lk. -33).
(Luke 14:25-33) “And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, (26) If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (27) And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (28) For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? (29) Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, (30) Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. (31) Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? (32) Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (33) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.”
We see this confrontation clearly exemplified by our Savior in our text. Our Lord Jesus Christ deliberately confronted the Pharisees, both by his words and his works. He always does. The Son of God always confronts sinners at their point of rebellion and demands that they surrender to him as their Lord.
· The Rich Young Ruler
· The Samaritan Woman
This is exactly what we see in our text. Here is just one of many examples of our Lord confronting these self-righteous, religious hypocrites on the sabbath.
Did you ever notice how often our Savior performed his miraculous works on the sabbath day? Did you ever wonder why he chose the sabbath for so many of these displays of his omnipotent mercy.
· This Man with a Withered Arm
· The Demoniac in the Synagogue (Mk. -28)
· The Woman with an 18 year Infirmity (Lk. -18)
· The Man with the Dropsy (Lk. 14:1-6)
· The Lame Man (John )
These things were not done on the sabbath day accidentally. Oh, no. They were performed on the sabbath day for the calculated purpose of our Lord. I am sure that purpose involved more than I can state in this message. But it certainly involved these four things.
A. Our Lord picked sabbath assert his claim of dominion over all things as Lord, even of the sabbath (Lk. 6:5).
(Luke 6:5) "And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath."
It was Christ himself who kept the first sabbath. It was Christ himself who gave the law of the sabbath. As a man he became subject to the law in all things. Yet, he is Lord of the law. As such, because he is God as well as man, he cannot be put under the yoke and bondage of the law. The law does not rule the King. The King rules the law. And Christ is the King.
B. The Lord Jesus chose the sabbath to perform his work of mercy upon this poor, needy soul, in order to expose and condemn the hypocrisy and mean-spirited traditions of religious legalists.
As it was in our Lord’s day, so it is in ours. There is no point at which religious legalists are more hypocritical, more bound by the religious customs and traditions of men, and more mean-spirited than in their efforts to impose and enforce sabbath laws upon men.
1. The Pharisees could not answer our Lord’s question about whether it was right to do good on the sabbath because they would not answer it, lest they expose themselves.
Their intention was to accuse the Master. If he refused to heal this man, they wanted to accuse him either of weakness and inability to heal him, or of cruelty for not healing him. Any answer they might give would have exposed them.
2. These religious hypocrites would have preferred the man be left with impotent arm, rather than see him healed.
In other words, they were more interested in maintaining the rigors of the law (their interpretation of the law), than the needs of men. And they excused their meanness in the name of honoring God!
C. Our Lord Jesus chose to perform this miracle of mercy on the sabbath to show us plainly what the true nature and purpose of the sabbath was.
The sabbath day, like all other ordinances of the legal, Mosaic age was designed and instituted to portray the gospel of Christ.
1. It was never intended to be a day of mere religious bondage, but a day portraying the rest of faith in Christ.
2. The sabbath was designed to show sinners how God does men good, eternal good, who deserve evil.
3. The sabbath was ordained to show us how God has purposed from eternity to save life, by the obedience of Christ. — It was a picture of Christ's finished work and of our resting in him, ceasing from our works by faith in
D. The Son of God chose the sabbath to perform this miracle to display the fact that he had come to fulfill and forever put an end to the law of the sabbath.
(Luke 6:9) “Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?”
(Colossians 2:16-17) “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.”
(Romans 10:1-4) “Brethren, my heart’s desire and
prayer to God for
II. Now, look at verse 8. The second thing we see in this narrative is the display of A DIVINE CHARACTERISTIC.
(Luke 6:8) "But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth."
For now, let’s just focus on this one statement. — “He knew their thoughts.” Here is another of those many, many almost casual, nonchalant references given in the New Testament by which the Holy Spirit declares the fact of our Savior’s eternal Godhead. This man is a man; but he is more than a man. This man is the omniscient, all-knowing God (Heb. ).
(Hebrews 4:13) “Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.”
A. He who is our Savior is and must be God in human flesh.
It cannot be stated too emphatically or too often that Christ is, indeed, “over all God blessed forever.” Every attempt of men to compromise his absolute, eternal deity is both a denial of the gospel and blasphemy. Those who tell us that Christ is not God, absolutely God, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, immutable, eternal, just, and holy, are not Christians, but pagans masquerading as Christians. Only one who is himself God knows sees, and hears the thoughts of men.
1. Our Lord knew why the Pharisees were present.
2. He knew why the man with the withered arm was present.
3. And he knows why you and I are here. He knows why we have come here.
B. Nothing is more humbling and, at the same time, comforting and encouraging to believing hearts than our Savior’s divine omniscience.
To the religious hypocrite, this is a terrifying thing. To the believer, it is delightful.
1. Let us be humbled by the fact that our dear Savior knows us inside out. — Nothing is hidden from him.
2. Yet, we ought to rejoice in this, too, — Our Savior knows what we really are.—”Thou knowest that I love thee!”
3. Our blessed Redeemer’s name is Jehovah-jireh — “The Lord will see.’ — “The Lord will provide.” — “The Lord will be seen.”
III. The third thing we see in this passage is A DECISIVE CALL (vv. 8,10).
(Luke 6:8) “But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth.”
(Luke 6:10) “And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.”
Unlike the pretended miracles of papists and pentecostals, our Lord’s miraculous works were performed in broad daylight, performed upon people everyone present knew were impotent, and performed in the most public manner possible. He was not a pretend healer. He is the Healer. But the message of our text is not about the healing of a man’s withered hand. The healing of this man’s withered hand was a miracle performed by our Lord to portray the far greater miracle of grace he performs upon chosen sinners, when he saves us by his omnipotent grace! The healing of this man is a most instructive picture of the almighty, effectual, call and irresistible grace of God by which we are brought from death to life in Christ. Look at it...
A. “He said to the man with the withered hand” — Here is a particular, personal call. — “He calleth his own sheep by name.”
B. This was also a discriminating, distinguishing call.
We have no idea how many others were present or with what needs they had come. But our text tells us plainly that on this occasion the Master called none but this man alone. How we ought to thank God for his special, discriminating grace (Ps. 65:4; Matt. ; 1 Cor. 4:7)
(Psa 65:4) "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple."
(Mat ) "For many are called, but few are chosen."
(1 Cor 4:7) "For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?"
“Tis not that I did choose Thee,
For Lord that could not be.
This heart would still refuse Thee,
Hadst Thou not chosen me.”
C. Be sure you see this, too. — The Lord Jesus called this man to do what he had absolutely no ability to do.
The Master issued an impossible command. He said to the man with a dried up, withered, paralyzed arm, “Stretch forth thy hand.” If he could stretch forth his hand, he would not have been there.
I stress this point because men often tell us, “If the sinner has no ability to repent and believe the gospel, he cannot be called to do so.” Such attempts to deny the gospel of Christ simply will not hold water. The Lord Jesus commanded this man to stretch forth his withered hand.
Read on. — “And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other.” How can this be? Find out the answer and you will find out how spiritually dead sinners arise from the dead and flee to Christ.
This man did not stretch forth his hand by the mere exercise of his will. He did not just decide to stretch forth his hand. He did not just muster the power from within himself to stretch forth his hand. But he did stretch forth his hand. How? The answer is found in Luke 18:26-27.
(Luke 18:26-27) “And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved? (27) And he said, The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.”
A. In preaching the gospel spiritually dead sinners are called to arise from the dead, to stretch forth their withered bands and laid hold of Christ faith.
B. Any sinner who obeys the gospel, sinner who believes on Christ, sinner who rises from his spiritual grave and comes to Christ is immediately made whole and has eternal life.
C. But there is a problem ― no sinner can do it. ― REMEMBER, THE SINNER IS DEAD!
· No one can come.
· Anyone may come.
· All who do come have been called.
D. However, when the Lord God almighty, by the life-giving power of his omnipotent, irresistible grace calls the dead sinner, the sinner called rises from death to stretches forth his withered hand, lays hold of Christ, and is made whole.
You see, when all a man hears is the voice of a preacher, he remains dead. There is no power in the preachers voice. But when God speaks by the gospel, that is another story. When God speaks, there is power, life-giving, resurrection power in the call that God issues (John ; 1 Thess. 1:4-5).
(John 5:25) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
(1 Thessalonians 1:4-5) “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.”
(Revelation 20:6) “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
E. Still, there is more. — This man not made whole until he stretched forth his hand.
When the Lord’s command came, this poor man, believing Christ stretched forth his hand. He did not raise questions. He did not quibble about whether or not he could do it, whether or not the Lord had ordained it, or whether or not he would be made whole by doing it. He simply stretched forth his hand.
Has the Lord spoken to you? Is there now in you a voice speaking, saying, “Come unto me?” If so, Come. Stretch forth your hand, and be made whole.
• Without Conditions
• Without Preparations
• Without Qualifications
• Come to Christ!
“Come, ye sinners, poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore.
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, joined with power.
Come, ye weary, heavy laden,
Lost and ruined by the fall.
If you tarry till you’re better,
You will never come at all.
Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream.
All the fitness He requireth
Is to feel your need of Him.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
‘Tis the Spirit’s rising beam.
This He gives you, this He gives you,
Come, 0 sinner, come to Him!
I will arise and go to Jesus,
He will embrace me in His arms.
In the arms of my dear Savior,
Oh, there are ten thousand charms!”
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17) “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (15) For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death: and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.”
IV. Now, look at verse 11. Here we see A DIVIDED CROWD.
(Luke 6:11) “And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.”
The gospel of Christ and the wonders of his grace always divide people. Our Lord said, “I came not to send peace, but a sword.” And whenever the gospel is preached, whenever God does his work of grace, a division is made because of Christ. The gospel separates men, families, churches, and communities. It divides light from darkness. It separates the wheat from the chaff. It divides sheep from goats. It is a savor of life unto life to some, and a savor of death unto death to others (2 Cor. 2:14-17).
(2 Cor 2:14-17) "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. (15) For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: (16) To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? (17) For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
· The Pharisees were enraged.
· The man with the withered hand was made whole.
· The disciples were edified, instructed, and encouraged.
Application: What is your response to Christ and his gospel? “Doth this offend you?” Will you, or will you not come to Christ?