Well, welcome to central. It's good to see you wherever you're joining us from. We're glad that you're here with us. If you have a Bible or a Bible on your phone, it's 2021. After all go to Luke chapter 13, it's we're going to be spending our time together today. Luke chapter 13, we're going to be starting in verse 10.
[00:00:16] There's a really cool little story that picks up in verse 10. So let me pray for us and ask that God would, would speak mightily to us now. And then we'll jump in. Let's pray. God. We're grateful for this time. We're grateful for the space. And, uh, Lord, I just want to pause. We don't want to get ahead of you.
[00:00:34] We don't want to go anywhere that you don't want us to go. And these next few minutes, God, so help us to listen, help me to listen to your leading, move me out of the way, move distractions out of the way, God that we might hear specifically from you today. Open up our, our ears, God, to hear your truth, your good news convict us.
[00:00:54] Challenge us. Encourage us, move us forward. God. We're here to listen. So show up in a mighty way. And, uh, we asked about the power of your holy spirit. Would you help the sons when and four and everybody agreed? Yeah. In Jesus' name. Amen. Amen. You better be that excited later. We're talking about Jesus anyway.
[00:01:11] Hey, it's so good to be here with you. It's so, so good to be here with you. I want to open with a question. Are you a good person? Are you a good person? Do you ever think about that question for yourself? I know for me, I might think about that with somebody else as it relates to man, that's such a good guy, or when I think about certain families, I'm like, they're just good people, but I don't often think about that question for myself.
[00:01:36] I don't ask it that specifically for me. Am I a good person? Are you, how do you know, like, according to what. If somebody is a good person, why, what, what makes them that way? What makes them good as we would define it? Maybe it's like certain values or certain characteristics, right? Like, well, they're honest, or they're hard working or they're generous or they're kind, whatever kind of rules we've made up.
[00:02:02] The problem with some of these things is that the measuring sticks that we often use to define whether or not we're or someone else's good, tend to change whenever we need them. The target can move as we see fit, because I know I'm a good person. And so everything about my life has to reflect me being a good person, whether it's true or not.
[00:02:23] Like I would think of myself as an honest person, if you ask me that. Yeah. I think I'm an honest person, but if you were like, oh, so you've never. Oh, no, I've lied a lot. That's not what I meant at all. I try my best to be an honest person. And then I was thinking about this cause I'm OCD and I think too much, and I can't sleep.
[00:02:41] But like, if you, if you had a long list of every single statement I have ever said in my life in 29 years of life, everything that I've ever said, what's the percentage of those statements that are. What's the percentage of those statements that aren't true. I can tell you it's not a hundred percent truth.
[00:03:01] And so how high does my honest percentage need to be for me to be able to be deemed as an honest or good person? Are you confused yet? So you can see. You can see what, why this is a problem because our human standards start to fluctuate and the target moves as we need it to. And when I asked that question, am I a good person?
[00:03:23] The truth is I don't even know what I'm asking. Like how can we know that for sure. How can you know that about yourself? We're we're in a series called the credentialed life. We're spending all summer going through the fruit of the spirit. There's a really cool part in a letter that Paul writes to the Galatians church and he, he really breaks down the fruit of the spirit, the outward kind of expression.
[00:03:48] This is what if the holy Spirit's filling you? This is the fruit that's going to bear in your life. I want to read these two verses just to make sure that we're all on the same page. Let's read this together. Galatians. Verse 22, but the fruit of the spirit is love. Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.
[00:04:06] And there's this little, this little asterisk here that I love against such things. There is no law against such things. There is no law. And today we're going to talk about goodness, we're going to talk about goodness. The word that Paul uses that we've translated as goodness in Galatians five is the word our Gotha.
[00:04:26] Uh, Gotha Sunni, and it literally means the uprightness of heart and life. If you have goodness, as Paul is talking about it, your, your heart, your life has this sense of up rightness. This decency, this goodness, this kindness to it, to have this goodness is to be upright. And I think this is a tricky one, as far as the fruit of the spirit go, because if we're honest with ourselves, we kind of think we can be good on.
[00:04:53] Like, this is one of the fruit of the spirit that we're like, I think I'm like, I know how to be a good person. I know what goodness looks like, like maybe love or peace. Like these are these really big ideas that are really difficult to sort of attain, but God, I know how to be good. I'm good. Right. And as Christians, a lot of times we go to one of two extremes.
[00:05:14] These might sound familiar to you as it relates to goodness, both of these things have some truth in them. They're just not the full picture of what Jesus has for us. The first extreme that we see a lot of people go to is just kind of this like chill, like relax. Everything's fine. Find your truth. You're doing great.
[00:05:32] Never change, like all the untrue things that you wrote in someone's yearbook growing up, we just sort of copy and paste that onto our. I'm doing pretty good. Everything is fine. I will find my truth. So that's one of the extremes. And again, there's truth in that, but that's not the full picture of the gospel.
[00:05:49] The second extreme that we see people run to is obviously in the other direction, you might've heard something along these lines. Okay. Here's the good news of Jesus. Are you ready to hear it? You are a depraved worthless sinner. Here's like a weird object lesson about how dirty your sin is. Jesus died a brutal death so that you wouldn't have to burn in hell forever.
[00:06:11] And you're like, okay, awesome. You're like, Hey Tim, this is a first grade Sunday school class. Like just maybe tone it down a bit. You know, you're freaking the kids out and they're like, this is like, as long as you believe in him and follow all the rules, you don't have to burn forever in hell kids. And you're like, oh my gosh.
[00:06:25] Wow. Again, there's truth in that, but that's not the full picture thing. God, today I want to look at this story in Luke chapter 13. I think it shows us a really cool picture of goodness of this uprightness of heart and life. So let's jump in Luke 13 and starting in verse. On a Sabbath. Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years.
[00:06:53] She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her woman, you are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her and immediately she straightened up and praised God verse 14 and dignity because Jesus had healed. Sabbath God forbid the synagogue ruler said to the people, there are six days for work.
[00:07:17] So come and be healed on those days. Not on the Sabbath. Jesus answers him. You hypocrites doesn't each of you on the Sabbath, untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water than should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has kept bound for 18 long years. Be set free on the Sabbath day.
[00:07:38] From what bound. What a story there's so much in here that I want to unpack in our time together. And to do that, we're going to go a little bit out of order. So we're going to start back in verse 14 for our first point. So remember, there's this incredible miracle that's just happened. This woman's been been hunched over.
[00:07:54] She's been bound by this. 18 years. She's had this, this sickness, this disability, this illness, and Jesus heals her. This is amazing. Praise God only, not for this guy. Verse 14 and dignity because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler sets of the people. There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days.
[00:08:16] Not on the Sabbath. You might read that and go, what are you talking? Like this, this miracle happens. This amazing thing takes place in the middle of a church service. And this guy's first reaction is like, that's the wrong day for that? You're like, what? Like, imagine if you were in that room, you actually saw that happen in your first instinct is wrong.
[00:08:41] That's bad. Don't do that. Like it would be like, imagine if after church today you were walking out into the lobby and you saw some people like w laying hands on and praying over someone that had a very visible disability or very visible illness. And they're praying and they're asking God to heal him or her that God show up, heal this person.
[00:09:00] And then it happens. And you see this like very visible illness or disability be healed and they're like free from that, like, oh my gosh. And then I run out there with my central staff badge and I'm like, Hey, let's do it. Like, we, this person just got healed. It's like, kind of amazing. I'm like, okay, can you do that during business hours, please?
[00:09:21] Like, come on, we gotta, we gotta go home, have lunch, get out of here, see you tomorrow morning. Right? Like this is what this story. And it's easy to look at this synagogue ruler, or a lot of stories like this and distance ourselves from their coldness and go, wow, this guy must be really going through it to be this cold, to be this negative about somebody being healed.
[00:09:43] But if I'm really honest with myself, I see a lot of me in him. I see a lot of us in him. See, I think for this synagogue ruler, this, this action, this miracle, this healing wasn't good. Because it didn't line up with the rules that he had been taught. It didn't line up with the, with the tradition that he had grown up with.
[00:10:05] It was a violation to his kind of cultural sandbox and the things that he understood. And so he deemed it as not good immediately. And when I break it down that way, that sounds a lot like something that I could do, that sounds a lot like something that we could be guilty of. I think a lot of times we just like the synagogue ruler, hold goodness.
[00:10:27] As a value just for goodness sake. Not for the sake of the kingdom, not so that somebody might get to know Jesus, the son of the living God, but that we could just be good for goodness sake so that everyone knows how good we are. That's the first point of the message. If you're taking notes for goodness sake, I think a lot of us are like that Christmas song that we're familiar with.
[00:10:47] Some of us, some of us view God. This is like how Christianity plays out in our heads. You know, the words he sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good. So be good for good sake. And God help us. This is how we view our relationship with Jesus. This is what we pass down to our kids.
[00:11:11] This is what we think it means to be a Christian, to just be good for goodness sake. And if I can make it a little uncomfortable, but we wonder why our kids don't want to pursue a relationship with Jesus when that's what we're handing them. We wonder why this guy isn't ripping through our workplaces in our neighborhoods and our families is because we've taken Jesus out of the equation altogether.
[00:11:33] Our gospel has become a God. The good news of goodness for goodness sake, just be a good person. Just follow the rules, just do what your. I mean, that's what this synagogue ruler was doing. You can't really fault him. He was doing the job. He had been taught. This is how they always were. This is how he saw synagogue rulers before him behave.
[00:11:54] What else was he going to do? Just make sure everyone follows the rules because that's the value that mattered to him. A woman gets healed in this synagogue and his first instinct is that's against the rules. That's not how we do this here. When goodness is our main target. We miss out on the divine power of Jesus because goodness has become our God.
[00:12:17] Goodness has become our idol. It's the main target. It's the thing we're running after. And look at me. That's just not enough. That's not enough to be interesting to anyone. One to live for. No one is going to live and just go, well, this is all about being good. That's just not enough to live for. We live our lives, not depending on the holy spirit, not seeing the people who are broken right in front of us, not getting involved with people hunched over by their brokenness because it doesn't really affect us, man.
[00:12:47] That's thoughts and prayers bummer. Like it doesn't, we don't have to engage with it because if the goal is to just be good for myself, I can do that by myself. I don't need to come together with other believers to do that. I definitely don't need Jesus to try to be good by myself. I'll just keep trying, keep batting 65% of my honesty scale and be like, I am pretty dang it.
[00:13:09] Cause it's just about me. That reminds me like, if I was at home and I did something to break my arm, which would never happen because I'm not very active at home or anywhere to be honest with you, but let's just assume I broke my arm and it's like a mess. And I'm like, this sucks. Like this really hurts.
[00:13:26] And rather than getting in the car and going to the hospital, I'm like pulling up YouTube videos to learn how to set the bone myself. Ignoring every D that I've gotten in every science class and the history of my existence. And I'm like, I'm going to fix this arm. Cause I just got to take care of this.
[00:13:42] You'd be like, get in the car and go to the hospital. There are doctors here, but we do this with our souls. This is what we do do with the brokenness in our lives, in our hearts. Like the real. Like we, we try to fix it ourselves because a good person, a good person wouldn't struggle, like I'm struggling.
[00:14:01] And so I can't be honest about what I'm struggling with when my goal is to be good and to be seen as good. I can't get help. I can't be honest. I can't bring people in to what I'm struggling with because I need them to think that I'm good. So I guess I'm just going to fix the arm myself, I guess. I'm just going to get over my depression myself.
[00:14:20] I guess my terrible marriage will just somehow fix it. I guess the, a strange relationship that I have with my kids will just get better at some point, somehow, I don't know. We just sit here and try to set the bone ourself. And what it does is it leaves us with a lifetime of stacking up these broken arms and broken souls and broken hearts because we never go to the doctor.
[00:14:41] We never go to Jesus who has the power to actually make things right. Because, because we're not worried about that, we're worried about being good and we're exhausted. Our whole culture is burnt out because we're trying to carry things that only Jesus can carry or burn out because we're trying to be good.
[00:15:02] Yeah. For goodness sake. And we're just not that good at it. We're just not that good at it. We can't celebrate a miracle because it's not during business hours. Right. Because we're trying to hold all this stuff on her own rather than being honest, that we're all hunched over. We're all broken. We're all bound by things and we all need Jesus to stand up.
[00:15:25] When we put all of our chips in, on our own goodness, it's easy to see isn't it, how it leads to disappointment and covering things up and running from what's true. After church today, if you go Google any part of church history, you can see this all throughout it. That when we discard the power of Jesus, when we rely on ourselves, rather than him, things always go terrible.
[00:15:50] We're not that good at it. We render ourselves useless when we don't depend on the power of Jesus, we just become this set of rules that aren't helpful to anyone. We're just a social club. We're like a gym membership with no gym equipment. Like just come in and pay your dues. And we'll all stare at each other for an hour and go have lunch.
[00:16:09] It's like who, what? For the life of me, I don't understand why any of us would be here. If it wasn't to encounter the power of. I'm not that good. Like the chairs are not that comfortable. You know, how many brunch places are open right now that you could be at? And we live in Arizona, like if we're just going to be here, cause it's good or be here because I grew up with it or be here.
[00:16:31] Cause I think I need to be looking at me. I love you and stay and keep fighting, but we're here to experience the saving power of Jesus. That's the only thing that makes this. If it's not about that, let's go, come on, let's go do something else. Let's go do something else.
[00:16:50] Being good for goodness sake can actually lead to being bad because it takes Jesus out of the equation all together. So let's start back at the beginning of the story. Let's go back a couple of verses and see what led to this in the first place. First. On a Sabbath, Jesus was teaching and one of the synagogues and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for 18 years.
[00:17:10] She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her woman, you are set free from your infirmity. Then he put his hands on her and immediately she straightened up and praise God, this is so beautiful to me. This is so powerful. We're going to talk about how amazing Jesus is in a minute, but for, for just a few seconds, can we sit in the pain that this woman must have been living with 18 years bound, bent over, walking around.
[00:17:42] She can't see anything beautiful. She's just staring at the ground. She's been thrown out by culture. She's been shoved to the back of the room because no one wants to look at her and her. She must have been cursed or dirty or a center for God to do this to her for 18 years. And so she's isolated, she's full of shame.
[00:18:02] She's full of this pain. She has zero community to belong to for 18 years, she's broken, hopeless, sick. This is heartbreaking. I wanted us to sit in this moment because I think another symptom of being good for goodness sake is that when we're too focused on our goodness, we're not focused at all on seeing somebody else who's hunched over, seeing somebody else who's broken somebody else who, who needs hope, or who's full of shame and isolation.
[00:18:37] We don't have to see people hurting as long as it doesn't affect me. As long as I'm getting an a on my goodness. Great. I don't have to see anybody else hurting. A couple of weeks ago, my nephew, Israel got a kidney transplant and it's been a three year, at least journey. We we've known since he was alive, that, that this was going to have to happen to him.
[00:18:57] And it finally happened. And, um, you know, our family cried and celebrated and we're just praising God for how he provided for my nephew, which I think is right and good. And we should do that. I was convicted though, because I was thinking about that and I'm like, well, yeah, of course. He's my, he's my nephew.
[00:19:15] He's my. Like he's my brother's son. Of course, I'm going to care about him. Of course, I'm going to be invested in this story. And when I was writing this message this past week, it was just the contrast of how much I cared about my nephew, Israel getting a kidney versus how fast I was to brush over this story of this woman hunched over for 18 years.
[00:19:36] I'm like, man, I think that I do that in my life. How many women just like her, how many men? Just like her, that I work with that I live next to that. I go to the same fries as that I drive by on the street are hunched over broken and hopeless and too busy, being a good person to see them. Cause it doesn't affect me.
[00:19:59] We just do these drive by thoughts and prayers out of our window. Like hopefully that works. I don't have to get involved if it's just about me being good. I don't have to get involved with the brokenness, but I want us to see people. Not the rules, not what's good or right. According to our culture, I want, I want us to see actual people who are actually broken and just like Jesus example.
[00:20:23] I want us to step into that brokenness with them, look at what he does again, in verse 12, Jesus sees her Jesus calls her forward and says to her woman, you are free from your infirmity. He puts his hands on her, which is just a cultural nightmare. You're not supposed to do that at all in the first place.
[00:20:41] You're not even really supposed to talk to a woman, if you're a man, definitely. If you're a rabbi and immediately she stands up, she's healed. I show you that verse again, to say that the only chance we have at finding goodness as Paul talks about it in Galatians five, this uprightness of heart and life, our only chance is if Jesus is the one that stands us up, I mean, we have no power or ability to do this.
[00:21:07] The second point. If you're taking notes is from good to grace from good to grace, because this goodness has to be tied to grace. It's our only hope if it's not tied to grace, it's something else altogether. This goodness comes from the grace that we have in Jesus. And it extends that grace out to those around us.
[00:21:24] That's how we, that's how we're good. That's how we find uprightness in our life from good to grace. If you want the gospel in two sentences, it's right here in this story. Jesus sees you. Jesus sets you free. You're gonna hear that every week that you come to this church, that's the gospel. Jesus sees you and Jesus sets you free.
[00:21:44] I know, but I've been hunched over for 18 years. I feel you, Jesus sees you and Jesus sets you free. He stands you up from what's been holding you down. He breaks the chains that have had a hold of your heart and your life. Our only chance at uprightness of goodness is if Jesus stands us up, if he sees us in the back of the room and says, my son, my daughter come forward and we walked to the front hunched over so that everyone can see our brokenness.
[00:22:09] Can you imagine how called out? She's like, ah, I've been ashamed for 18 years and now you're gonna make me come up front, hunched over. I just got to walk up the aisle. So everyone sees clearly how broken I am, but rather than bad news, the good news is that Jesus goes, my daughter stand up. You're free from this.
[00:22:30] That's our gospel. That's what we have. If we don't have that, let's go to brunch. That's what we have. Jesus sees you and sets you free. And this has nothing to do with, with what we're capable of. I love you. Don't take that as an insult. This has everything to do with what Jesus is capable of. This woman didn't reach out to him.
[00:22:50] She didn't email his assistant. She didn't stumble up to him. He saw her in her called her forward and set her free. And the story will be the same for us. Thank God that Jesus sees a bunch of hunched over broken people. And he stands us up. He doesn't shame us. He doesn't kick us out. We don't have to make some team.
[00:23:09] No, he stands us up and sets us free.
[00:23:15] if we want to be people that follow Jesus, this is how, this is how we find uprightness of heart and life. When Jesus stands us up, when he breaks the chains off of us, once we're up, we get to see people the way that he. Once we're not hunched over anymore. We get to finally see those around us. We get to see those that are hurting.
[00:23:39] We get to see those that are still isolated. And we know if we're going from good to grace, that it's not ourselves that stood us up. We know that no single person in here pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and figured out how to stand up on their own. It's only Jesus. And so when we come across other people that are still hunched over, rather than judging them, rather than going, I guess they earn wherever they're at sucks to be them.
[00:24:05] I guess I don't want to distance myself from them. I don't want to be labeled like that instead of that, we get to come alongside them and tell them about a freedom that can break any 18 year spell that can break any discouragement. It can break any anxiety and depression. Like we get to tell them about the good news of Jesus that goes, Hey, he sees you and he wants to stand you up and set you free.
[00:24:27] The good news of goodness, can't hold up because when our end goal is to be good, we don't have to see anybody else. We get to be a part of helping people see the freedom that they have, that they can't see because they're hunched over in pain that we couldn't see before Jesus came into our lives and set us free.
[00:24:48] And I know we're all in different places on this journey. This might be the first time you've ever been to church or the million. But we all gotta want more than just be a good person, right? I mean, don't, you want to live for more than.
[00:25:02] Let's go to our last point of the day, because this is a sermon and there have to be three points. Uh, Luke 13, 13 verse 15, look at Jesus' response to this synagogue ruler. He says you have. It doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water than should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has kept bound for 18 long years.
[00:25:26] Be set free on the Sabbath day. From what bound her, if you're taking notes. The third point for today is for goodness sake, which I know is already the name of another point, but now it's like an all caps with an exclamation point. So it's fancy. This is like for goodness sake. Are we going to keep doing this?
[00:25:43] Can you sense? Jesus' frustration here. He's like, are we still going to pretend like this is all about the rules for goodness sake? Are we still going to do this? Like, this is all about being a good person. Like there are wrong days to set someone free for goodness. And what about for us again? I know we're all at different places in our lives, but can you ask yourself these questions, honestly?
[00:26:07] Are we still going to do this? Are we still going to hate people who are different than us? Are we still gonna avoid people who disagree with us? Are we still going to keep building up our Christianity wall as high as it will go so that we can keep them out and keep me in mind? Good. Are we still going to do.
[00:26:28] Are we still going to live this way? We still gonna keep bashing people over the head with all these rules. Let me remind you of Paul setting. Galatians five, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness. Self-control against such things. There is no law. That's the truth. That's what we run after.
[00:26:49] That's our brand new gospel truth. It's been new for 2000 years. Like how much longer are we going to live? Like the rules are the point. Like being a good person is the end. Jesus is blown away. He's like, dude, are you serious? This woman has been afflicted for 18 years and we're going to act like because of these weird Sabbath rules, we should wait another day to set her free.
[00:27:14] We should wait another day to release the binding. That's been holding her heart. Years? No, that's not our gospel, our gospel isn't about rules. Our gospel. Isn't about being good for goodness sake. Our gospel is about the son of the living. God that sees a bunch of hunched over messes like you and me. And he sees us and he stands us up and he sets us free.
[00:27:35] That's our gospel. Are we still going to do yes. I think if we keep doing it this way, if we keep it. Playing church. Like it's some goodness themed social club. People are gonna walk out of these doors.
[00:27:56] Your kids are gonna grow up and learn that that's not enough to live for. And they're going to walk out of these doors.
[00:28:04] it's not enough to live for. There's no hope in that. If this is dependent on me being good enough, you'll all leave and do time. I can promise you. I know I'm not good at. My kids will grow up and learn that I'm not good enough. My coworkers know that I'm not good enough. My only hope is if Jesus sees me and stands me up, the good news of goodness for goodness sake, isn't strong enough to keep anyone here.
[00:28:28] It's not strong enough to stand anyone up. It's not strong enough to set anyone free, but Jesus is strong enough to do all of it. Jesus has close enough to do all of it. Jesus loves you enough to do all of it. So I don't know how long you feel like you've been hunched over. I don't know how long you feel like you've been isolated and forgotten and discarded, but I got to tell you that today Jesus wants to come into your life and say, you were free from this.
[00:28:54] You're not going to be hunched over anymore. I have new plans hands for you. I have purpose for you. I have freedom for you. I have goodness for you. Not because you're upright, but because I'm upright enough to upright you. I know grammatically that was a disaster, but you get what I'm saying? Like this is this.
[00:29:10] The goodness that Paul wrote about to the glacier church. And it's the only thing, a goodness that comes from grace. It's the only thing that can change our world. And so let me ask you this question one more time. Are you a good person? My hope was to ask that at the beginning and then spend like a half hour getting you to not care about it anymore.
[00:29:34] Come on. Let's ask questions that matter. Let's ask good questions that actually make a difference. Like, do you have a good God? Do you have access to Jesus? The same Jesus that sees you in your pain, the same Jesus that calls you forward as a son or a daughter and sets you free. Do you have access to that?
[00:29:53] Is that what our good news is about that he walked out of the tomb to defeat death for all of us, for once and for all the past present future sins that we get to walk out of the tomb with them going. I'm not good, but man, my Jesus is good. And so I get freedom because of that. If that's true about you, if that's true about me, that's about as good as good news can get.
[00:30:17] Let me pray. God, we're so thankful for the good news of Jesus, the truth that you see us in our brokenness hunched over, and you don't forget about us. You don't mock us. You don't throw us to the side. Now you call us forward. You stand us up and you set us free. And so help us to be good God, a goodness that comes from grace, the grace that we've been given, the grace that we can extend to others, help us to be a church that is defined by that.
[00:30:51] We love you so much for praise in Jesus name. Amen.