Jesus Heals

Jesus Heals

Luke 13:10-17

One Sabbath as he was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a seriously handicapped woman who had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to straighten herself.

Calling her over to him Jesus said, “Woman, you are healed of your sickness!” He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised and thanked God!

But the local Jewish leader in charge of the synagogue was very angry about it because Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week to work,” he shouted to the crowd. “Those are the days to come for healing, not on the Sabbath!”

But the Lord replied, “You hypocrite! You work on the Sabbath! Don’t you untie your cattle from their stalls on the Sabbath and lead them out for water? And is it wrong for me, just because it is the Sabbath day, to free this Jewish woman from the bondage in which Satan has held her for eighteen years?”

This shamed his enemies. And all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.

In our fallen world, disease and disability are common. Their causes are many and often multiple—inadequate nutrition, contact with a source of infection, lowered defenses, and even direct attack by Satan. Whatever the immediate cause of our illness, we can trace its original source to Satan, the author of all the evil in our world. The good news is that Jesus is more powerful than any devil or disease.

Why was healing considered work? The religious leaders saw healing as part of a doctor’s profession, and practicing one’s profession on the Sabbath was prohibited. The synagogue ruler could not see beyond the law to Jesus’ compassion in healing this handicapped woman. Jesus shamed him and the other leaders by pointing out their hypocrisy. The Pharisees hid behind their own set of laws to avoid love’s obligations. We too can use the letter of the Law to rationalize away our obligation to care for others (for example, by tithing regularly and then refusing to help a needy neighbor). But people’s needs are more important than rules and regulations. Take time to help others, even if doing so might compromise your public image. 

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