Wednesday, February 6, 2013

healing on the Sabbath

Good morning sisters and brothers,
One of the ways women often appear in the New Testament is as people Jesus heals. In this story, Jesus takes the initiative, by noticing the need for healing and performing the miracle. The religious leaders get upset because Jesus heals on the Sabbath, but Jesus explains that the Sabbath is a day for untying burdens so all can rest. The passage asks us when we have used tradition or religious teaching to limit people or ourselves in unhealthy ways. Faithfulness isn't about blindly following rules, but about looking for God's intention and following that. It's not as simple as following a checklist, but it is the better way Christ calls us to. Most of all, the rule of love for God and love for others leads us in the right direction. At the same time, notice that Jesus doesn't say we shouldn't follow the Sabbath commandment, only that we need to understand it more fully.

God bless,

Luke 13:10-17
10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

14But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” 

15But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 17When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

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