Adapted from a sermon given at Garden Park. The text is from Luke 13.
18Then Jesus asked, “What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? 19It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds perched in its branches.”
20Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”
These words of Jesus occur immediately after a rather telling conversation with the religious leaders of his day. Gathered in the synagogue, much like our church setting, a woman with some form of degenerative disease approaches Jesus. Unclean, unwanted, and undesirable, she should have never been there. She was an outcast from the society around her. The story tells us that she had been that way for eighteen years. This probably meant that she hadn’t been touched that entire time. Eighteen years without physical touch, mental support, the love of family, and the conversation of a close friend. She undoubtedly wandered around town begging and pleading for help, but receiving little support. The doctors that had seen her when she first became ill felt unable to help her. They had no explanation as to why she was in that condition. She was left completely on her own, with no support or love from anyone.
Until a chance encounter with Jesus.
That for her changed everything.