Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. A woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and couldn’t stand up straight. When he saw her, Jesus called her to him and said, “Woman, you are set free from your sickness.” He placed his hands on her and she straightened up at once and praised God. The synagogue leader, incensed that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, responded, “There are six days during which work is permitted. Come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord replied, “Hypocrites! Don’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from its stall and lead it out to get a drink? Then isn’t it necessary that this woman, a daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen long years, be set free from her bondage on the Sabbath day?” When he said these things, all his opponents were put to shame, but all those in the crowd rejoiced at all the extraordinary things he was doing. (Luke 13:10-17, CEB)
Can you imagine, or do you know what it would be like to live with an illness, a sickness for 18 years?
I have probably been taking medication for hypertension for 18 years, but overall it really doesn’t seem to have an effect on my life. This woman had been disabled for 18 years and was unable to stand up straight. And so Jesus heals her. But he does it on the Sabbath when one isn’t supposed to work. And Jesus did it in the synagogue. So the leader of the synagogue was enraged and said there are six days to heal, why do you do that today? And Jesus’ response is classic, “Hypocrites! Don’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from its stall and lead it out to get a drink? Then isn’t it necessary that this woman, a daughter of Abraham, bound by Satan for eighteen long years, be set free from her bondage on the Sabbath day?” Why should this woman have to wait one more day to be out of pain when she has already endured it for 18 years?
The law was created for man, not man for the law. The law should influence our love for others, not keep us from loving.
Do not get hung up on the rules, because when it all gets boiled down, it is about love.
Loving People. Loving God.