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Luke 13 English Standard Version (ESV)
A Woman with a Disabling Spirit
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
- The synagogue ruler was indignant because Jesus broke the rule of Sabbath. Yet he could not see through the law and understand that it is out of compassion that Jesus healed the woman. This shows how little he understood what grace was and how little he desired of it. The woman who experienced grace praised God. But the synagogue ruler rebuked Jesus for helping her. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy that they would easily release an animal in order to care for them, but wouldn’t rejoice for a person released from Satan’s bondage.
- In their fervour to keep all of their rules and regulations, the Pharisees ended up neglecting to love others. We can also take the rules literally in order to rationalize our lack of concern for others (i.e. insisting on tithing but refusing to help the needy; insisting on attending worship on time but refusing to pick up someone out of the way).
- Do you make excuses for neglecting to do good? Pay close attention to God’s whispering in your heart.