Father, thank you for the stories in your Word, for the things you would have me learn from them. Open my heart to your teaching today.
Read LUKE 13:10-17
Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
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.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
‘O Sabbath rest by Galilee! / O calm of hills above, / where Jesus knelt to share with thee / the silence of eternity, / interpreted by love.’1
When I was 12, the newspaper began a Sunday edition. Dad refused it. I was angry because they moved the comics from Saturday to Sunday. Dad ignored my plea to give up Monday instead, as it was printed on Sunday! The Sabbath rest was decreed for the wandering Israelites to recoup spiritually and physically. The rules were simple – everyone knew what work was. By Jesus’ time, religious leaders had invented complex, oppressive rules but even they would untie their donkey. In our modern, technological society we must attend to more than thirsty animals on Sunday. Even my father turned on lights and drank tap water! We want the internet, plumbing, TV, and emergency services. Obeying the spirit of the Sabbath is difficult today but the principles still stand. All human beings need time to recuperate spiritually, mentally, and physically. The stress of the Covid pandemic shows how crucial this is.
The woman’s story is usually taken as another of Jesus’ healings, but is it more than that? Women have not been thought significant. I believe Jesus consciously chose to heal her in a public place. He grants her redemption and wholeness, thereby offering the kingdom to all women who are demeaned, denied their proper status, and oppressed by society. Disabled at many levels, hers is the story of many women. She had been bound by Satan for 18 years (v 16) and her condition demanded compassion. Jesus healed her, Sabbath or not. Jesus doesn’t say that Satan singled out this woman to suffer disability. She was a victim of the world’s fallenness, in which evil forces have power to hurt people, to deceive, to deform, and to destroy. We pray in the Lord’s Prayer that God will deliver us from the evil one2 – and that is what God will do. At the end of time, God will destroy evil forever.
Ask the Lord of the Sabbath to deliver us from the evil one. We need help to revive our spirits and renew our minds as we navigate our way through a fallen world.
Jesus, you not only saw and healed a woman on the Sabbath, you touched her. Thank you for your healing touch that freed me and gave me hope and a future with you forever.
Last Updated on November 28, 2023 by kingstar