All Tied Up

February 16, 2020

David Sorn

Are you all tied up in a situation that feels like it could never change? Do you believe that Jesus could set you free?

All Tied Up

February 16, 2020

David Sorn

Are you all tied up in a situation that feels like it could never change? Do you believe that Jesus could set you free?


As a church, right now we are studying the Book of Luke in the Bible.

And it’s so refreshing to examine the teachings of Jesus every week.

We need this right now in our culture.

Would you open up to today’s passage with me?

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(Renovation App)

Jesus is teaching at a local synagogue…and he’s about to make one person really angry, and another person really happy.

Let’s take a look

(Luke 13:10-17) – NIV

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.

The passage begins and tells us about a woman who had been suffering for 18 years.

I don’t know if you know anyone with back pain, but it can be incredibly painful, and often doesn’t go away.

And this woman doesn’t merely have back pain, she is literally bent over and couldn’t straighten up “at all” we’re told.

For 18 years, she has been hunched over, unable to really look people in the eye, or enjoy a sunset.

18 Years of pain.

She is like many, even in this room, in that she is suffering, in pain, probably dealing with sadness or depression or self-pity

And Jesus is going to set her free.

Now, there’s something really amazing in the wording of this passage, that doesn’t necessarily jump out in the NIV translation.

If we were reading the Greek, we’d see it.

Ironically, I first saw it in the King James Version this week…and then the New King James Version.

I often will read 4 of 5 different translations when I study, as it helps my brain see things I miss.

Look at verse 12 again, but in the New King James Version.


But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”

She has been tied up…and bound to something

And Jesus has loosened her from that grip of that rope, and she is free.

Now, knowing this, look at verse 15 on the screen


The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

Look at the imagery here!

This is going to matter all throughout this passage.

Because like many of us, this woman has been tied up

She is in bondage

And notice, she IS a believer in God.

This is not an unbeliever.

Verse 16 says she’s a “Daughter of Abraham”

That means a Jew, but not only that, one that believes in faith.

She needs Jesus Christ.

But our enemy, the devil has tied her up.

We can’t ignore that spiritual facet of the text, as much as we may conveniently want to

Verse 11 says she has been crippled by a “Spirit”

There is spiritual evil involved.

In verse 16, Jesus Himself says that “Satan has kept her bound for 18 years”

I think of it this way:

We are foolish to believe that all physical ailments are spiritual issues.

Jesus Himself doesn’t even treat all physical issues that way.

But we’re also foolish to believe physical issues can never be caused by a spiritual issue.

To believe that, we’d have to disagree with Scriptures like this one.

This woman, even though she believes in God, has been tied up by spiritual evil…and it has brought physical, real-life challenges to her


And we too, can be bound up.

Let me give you 3 ways, we as Christians can get tied up

3 Ways We Get Tied Up:

#1: We drift and tie ourselves up to sin

Sin looks so appealing.

We wouldn’t fall for it if it didn’t seem like a good idea.

For example, think about how pornography is ravaging Christian believers

It looks so alluring…so appealing…maybe you even tell yourself, it’s not the real thing…it’s relatively harmless.

But soon enough you realize what looked exciting and thrilling, was really just a rope that you’re now tied up with, and it won’t let go.

You’re bound.

You need something to set you free!

Or maybe as a Christian you’ve begun to drift away from God

You’re backsliding as the old-timers used to say.

And honestly, you’re not really pursuing Jesus anymore.

You’re going through the motions.

You’ve been trying to find life out there in the world.

You’ve been taste-testing everything the world has to offer…

I was just talking with a guy not too long ago who is in this predicament.

He knows that he needs to fully surrender His life to Christ.

He knows that Jesus wants ALL of Him…and that it would be good.

But He just can’t seem to leave his old life behind.

It would be too hard to leave his friends

Leave the comfort of his old lifestyle…the weekend pleasures…the convenience of doing what he wants…being in charge of your own life.

And yet for all the excitement of sin, he feels tied up by it.

It’s bondage. It’s not giving him what he wants!

He thirsts for something more…for LIVING water as Jesus calls it. Real spiritual life!

What a strange place to be.

And some of you are in the EXACT same place right now.

You have tied yourself up to the post of sin (because it looked good!), but you see the living water, you want the living water, but unsure if you really want Jesus to free you to go get it.

That sounds miserable

There’s a second way we get tied up:

3 Ways We Get Tied Up:

#1: We drift and tie ourselves up to sin

#2: Something outside of us ties us up

Maybe it’s spiritual evil, health issues, or just the sin of others that fall upon us

For many in this room…you feel tied up by something you didn’t go chasing…it happened to you.

That’s the situation this woman is in, right?

It wasn’t her choice to have this physically happen to her

Many of you know what that’s like.

Maybe you’ve been dealing with chronic pain

A disability

A health issue

For others of you, you feel tied up because of something someone else did to you.

Maybe a spouse left you…

Maybe you’ve suffered emotional, or verbal, or physical abuse

And life has been anything but easy.

I want you to know that Jesus heals this particular woman in the Bible on purpose.

We’re told that she is unable to straighten up…

The New King James says, “She’s unable to raise herself up”

She can’t fix the problem.

She’s in bondage to it.

She’s All Tied up, the Bible says

And yet, Jesus can SET HER FREE.


Still others get tied up, in something very different, in a false version of Christianity…

And we see that too, right in this passage.

3 Ways We Get Tied Up:

#1: We drift and tie ourselves up to sin

#2: Something outside of us ties us up

#3: We get tied up in legalism

Legalism is the idea that we need to create a bunch of extra rules, obey those rules, and then, and only then, we’ll earn God’s love.

This is the synagogue leader in the passage.

He believes in, as we said last week, “the good person fallacy”

That if he is a “good person,” he will earn his way to God

And so his belief in God is predominately about obeying rules.

He knows nothing of the love and compassion that Jesus feels for this woman

He doesn’t understand the heart of Jesus.

And some of you in this room, even though you’ve been in church for a long time, have also lost sight of the heart of Jesus…for others, and for yourself.

And you’re tied up…in legalism

Listen, Jesus gives plenty of commandments…

He wants us to obey him, to obey the commandments (like do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not steal).

Those things are all still important…but they serve a specific purpose

Imagine you have 3 little kids, and you bought a house on highway 65, and your yard went right up to highway 65.

What would you do?

You’d probably build a fence…

You’d say, “Kids, make sure you do not go past this fence.”

“It’s for your own good, and because I love you”

That’s what Jesus is doing with His teachings (he’s protecting us…out of love)

But legalists, like this synagogue leader, and plenty of people in the church today…

They come along and say, “Well, to make sure that no one hops the fence, we better build another fence within the fence…maybe a little taller than the first

And then someone else builds yet another fence, even a little taller, and still closer…

So we can all be absolutely sure that we’re pleasing God.

That’s legalism.

Think about this:

Jesus has just healed this woman in front of everyone’s eyes.

She just stood up straight for the first time in 18 years.

And the synagogue leader, who has built 10 extra fences on God’s commandments, says, “Nope, rule breaker! You did it on the sabbath!”

He’s completely, 100% missed God.

And there are plenty of people today who still live like that.

Maybe that’s you.

Maybe when you think of Jesus, it doesn’t even give you joy.

Maybe, when you think about God, all you can think about is the sins you’re committing, and how you need to work harder next time.

You are missing Jesus.

You are tied up too.

You’re tied up to a post called legalism.

And it’s not the Gospel.

It’s not the good news of Jesus.

Jesus wants to “loosen” your rope, and set you free.


Look at verse 15 again…in the New King James on the screen


The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?

The synagogue leader says, “You can’t set this woman free!”

But Jesus says, “You set your animals free!”

If your animal is tied up on the Sabbath, and it’s thirsty, do you not loosen its rope, and lead it to water?”

Of course you do, because you have compassion on the animal.

In verse 16 Jesus says, “This woman is a child of God…not an animal…a child of God…”

Isn’t she worth even more compassion?

He’s saying, “If you, though you are a mere human, have compassion on an animal…

How much more so does a Loving God have compassion on you when He sees you tied up?

And God, does indeed see you tied up to this world.

Whether you’ve been tied up in legalism

Or the you tied yourself up with bad choices

Or the devil himself has tied you up


Like the woman in the verse, He is calling out to you.

And it’s strange…because this is GOOD NEWS…but we have all sorts of doubts and hesitations.

Some of you…when you hear Jesus calling out to you…telling you that He can set you free from your sin…

You want to say, “What? Me??

“But Jesus, I’ve been running from you…

I’ve been sitting on the fence, playing both sides

“I’m still a mess.

Friend, the heart of God is in His Word today.

What’s fascinating about this passage, is that unlike so many others in the Bible, the woman doesn’t run out of the crowd and grab Jesus’ cloak or run up and fall at his feet.

Jesus sees HER in the crowd…just where she is.

This is the Gospel.

He doesn’t say to her, “Mam, if you want me to heal you…you’re going to have to get your life together again…put some work in…I’ll meet you halfway”

No, He loves you in the midst of you mess!

When you can’t stop looking down in depression…

He loves you!

When you can’t stop looking down in your pain

He loves you!

When you can’t stop looking down in shame

He loves you…

And He’s saying, “I HAVE COME TO SET YOU FREE”

For others of you, your doubts are different.

Let me give you a common doubt for all of you that feel like you’re dealing with point #2…you’ve been put in tough situations…

…and you feel like this woman, who through no fault of her own, has been a bind, for a long time.

When we read passages like this in Scripture, we all too often, bring our doubts.

I do this.

I’m a math guy.

I prefer to live in reason…and logic.

Sometimes I fear that if that was me in the crowd that day, and after 18 years of nothing working, Jesus said, “David, come up here. I’ll set you free!”

I fear that I would say, “No, because life doesn’t work like that.”

“You can’t just ask and be healed or have your problem fixed like that”

A lot of modern-day Christians approach Jesus that way.

Sure, we believe he died for us, that we’ll go to heaven…

But it’s almost like we’ve ruled out the miraculous…in our own personal lives anyway

We say:

“If God is going to work in my life to change a situation…He’ll do that slowly over time, methodically, reasonably.

We say, “You can’t just pray and have God change things just like that.”

Why not?

Isn’t that exactly what Jesus did in this story…and in so many other places in the Gospels?

Perhaps the main reason that we rarely ask Jesus to set us free (to loose us) from our problems…is because we’ve incorrectly diagnosed that all of our problems are PHYSICAL problems…

…problems that might never be fixed…OR, if they can get fixed, are just something we need to find an earthly, practical, physical solution to

But look at the Bible again…remember, Jesus says that some of your problems are SPIRITUAL problems (like this woman in Luke 13)

And you don’t fix spiritual problems with a physical remedy, or a step-by-step solution.

The Bible is saying, sometimes we’ve been tied up, and we need Jesus to set us free.

And NOTHING else will do it.

Now listen, this is all a bit out of my comfort zone even.

If you’ve been here a while, it doesn’t sound like a message I would normally preach…

But there it is…we’re just going through the Bible and it’s right here!

It’s saying Jesus can set us free!

Now, I don’t know if it God’s will to do something miraculous in your situation right now…I truly don’t.

But I do know that He’s capable of it.

Think about what we just talked about last week.

Our church was stuck, and out of space for the future, and someone donated a $435,000 piece of property to us when we prayed!

The Bible clearly says, “You do not have, because you do not ask”

Ask God to set you free today!

It won’t hurt you to ask!

Let’s start treating Jesus like He’s the Son of God again.

Not just some teacher that we enjoy.

Who knows what He will do if we believe?!

He loves you…He cares about you.

He was nailed down to the cross, so you could be set free!

And for some of you, I believe He wants to do that…right here…right now.

It’s not going to hurt to ask…and believe in faith.

And because we believe this teaching is from the Word of God…because we believe that Jesus can do ALL things if it’s in His will.

We’re going to do something a little different.

We have about 15 members of our prayer team in the back right now…

And if you want to ask God to set you free from something…I want you to walk back during this last song…

And tell them to pray over you…and we will ask God to set you free.

Please, this morning, let Jesus be more than an intellectual concept, more than a teacher, let Him be your Savior who can set you free.

And, we’ll see what God does.

Let me pray

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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