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When You Get Bent Out of Shape

By David O. Dykes | Senior Pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas

Luke 13:10-21

Some of us are just never satisfied. Frank and Mabel had been married for 40 years. Frank turned 60 a few months earlier, and they now were celebrating Mabel’s 60th birthday. During the birthday party, Frank walked into another room and was surprised to see a fairy godmother appear before him. She said, "Frank, this is your lucky day. I’m here to grant you one wish—what would you like?"

He thought for a moment and said, "Well, I would really like to have a wife who is 30 years younger than me."

The fairy godmother said, "No problem." She waved her wand, and "poof"—suddenly Frank was 90 years old.

I imagine old Frank was a little bent out of shape by the way that turned out!

I have a friend in Alabama whose favorite expression was "bent out of shape." When he was upset about something he always said he was "bent out of shape" about it, and I recall he stayed "bent out of shape" much of the time.

In the passage of Scripture today, we are going to look at two people who were bent out of shape: one was a woman who was physically bent out of shape, and the other was a religious man who was spiritually bent out of shape. One was crippled by a spirit of weakness, and the other was crippled by a spirit of legalism and bitterness. Jesus was able to help one of them, but the other one stayed bent out of shape. Let’s read about them in Luke 13:10-21.

Many of you may be "bent out of shape" today for a variety of reasons. If you will pay attention to Jesus today, He can set you free. First, let’s consider a woman who, like some of us, is . . .

I. Bent Out of Shape by Suffering (Luke 13:10-13)

Jesus was still trying to reach the Jews, so we find Him teaching in the synagogue. The Jewish Sabbath begins at sunset on Friday, and most synagogues still have services on Friday evening; so this is probably on a Friday night. The opposition against Jesus is growing, and this is the last time in Luke’s Gospel that we find Jesus in a synagogue.

He saw a poor woman who was so bent out of shape she couldn’t stand up straight. This was more than just a case of osteoporosis; she had been this way for 18 years. I can just picture her bent over so she couldn’t look up and see the sky. She had spent the last 18 years looking down into the dirt at her feet and everyone else’s feet. No doubt, eating and drinking were difficult; and she could only rest curled up in a fetal position.

Remember, Luke is a physician. Dr. Luke uses interesting words to diagnose her condition. He doesn’t use the word that would mean "illness, disease or injury." In verse 11 he uses the phrase "crippled by a spirit." Then in verse 12 Jesus uses the word "infirmity," which doesn’t mean "sickness caused by disease"—it means "weakness."

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