Jesus healed a woman whose body and been bent over and twisted for 18 years. He was teaching at one of the synagogues, and he stopped and called out to her, “Woman, you are free of your disability” (Luke 13.12 HCSB). She instantly became healed.
The religious leaders were not happy because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and they considered healing to be work. It didn’t matter that Jesus was teaching on Sabbath, which is also work. They were simply upset that Jesus could perform miracles, and they could not. They looked for any excuse to condemn Him.
What was really happening at this moment was a collision of two forces: God’s glory and the human counterfeit of glory. The religious leaders were being exposed as false, and they did not want to let go of their power built on pride.
Jesus called them hypocrites and exposed their double standard. They were humiliated because their self-righteousness was on display.
“When He had said these things, all His adversaries were humiliated, but the world crowd was rejoicing over all the glorious things He was doing” ( Luke 13.17 HCSB).
I have found that when God wants to pour out His glory onto my life, hidden areas of pride and self-righteousness in my character are displayed. God is not condemning me, but in His great love for me, He is trying to free me from the crippling effects of hidden sin. Many times I struggle with allowing Him to expose those areas; but unless I see them, I cannot repent of them.
When I get angry and justifications rear up in my words, I must take a step back and analyze the situation. God may be trying to fill me with a greater portion of His glory, which can take the place of my own pride if I confess and let go.
I may be humiliated for the moment, but the reward of gaining a more intimate relationship with God is worth it. None of us is perfect, and we will all walk through this process of going from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3.18), learning how to die to self and resurrect in Christ (Romans 6.11). Little by little God wants to work that seed of salvation into every filament of our heart, soul, strength and mind (Philippians 2.12 and Luke 10.27). The more our pride is exposed, the greater His glory can fill us.
Like bodybuilding, God breaks us down, so He can build us back up. With every small death to our pride, God’s producing greater amounts of His glory. No one who is truly strong in the Lord has avoided this process. God’s discipline in our lives proves His love for us. If He didn’t care, He would just leave us bent over and twisted by sin. Instead of feeling like God’s adversary when He corrects us, we should feel like His loved child.
“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child” (Hebrews 12.6 NLT).