Recently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied to believers in the New Testament.
In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.
Our next passage to delve into is the woman stricken with a disability for 18 years. Eighteen years of being bent over, bound by Satan!
Luke 13:10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.
Jesus was able to teach in the synagogue as He often did. He found an audience, and He was teaching those who would hear and see of His identity. Every sermon or message He gave was of His identity, and their need of realizing this truth!
Though He was in the synagogue, He found opposition fairly often in them. Many of those who followed Him were of the riff raff, the lowly and disaffected, those without a religious heritage.
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.
A little later in the passage, Jesus defines the source of her debilitation.
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.
Seven words. One touch. Immediately she was upright.
Note that this is Luke telling the story. Dr Luke. No doctor can do what Jesus does, when He wills to perform some healing.
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.”
Said to the people? What gives with that? This ruler was trying to control the miraculous. Good luck with that.
The woman came to the synagogue to worship, and the God she worshiped, bent over and crippled, came to her and healed her. And a religious man rebuked the crowd of faithful worshipers of God, in order to protect the Sabbath.
Who was made for who again? (Check out an earlier post Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 4 – My Authority!)
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?
Jesus didn’t hold back here. Calling the ruler of the synagogue (and others) hypocrites was harsh from my point of view, but then again, I am a Canadian, and you know that Canadians are just soooo polite, and apologetic. Sorry bout that, don’t you know.
Back to the post – What is it to be a hypocrite?
We all know it has religious undertones, but it was not always so. During the time of Jesus, it primarily referred to actors in the plays. Someone acting like someone else. A pretender. A stage player. Someone behind a mask.
In this instance, the mask is religious, pious, righteous, pure. That which is under the mask is the real person, the one who treats an animal better than a person.
Is that because the animal is greater than a person? Of course not.
It is because the animal is owned by the actor, and the actor gains from the service of the animal. The crippled lady is not so profitable
The mask looks like it loves God. The person underneath loves himself.
Ya – that is harsh, by anybodies standards. Jesus ripped into this synagogue leader in front of all.
His logic, again was irrefutable. It is not unlike the argument used with the withered hand incident.
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?”
Satan bound this woman.
Jesus didn’t claim all sickness was a result of Satan, but this one He did. This woman either actively invited (or passively allowed) Satan into her life.
And she was a synagogue attendee! Huh
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 adversaries were put to shame – for now. Their day was coming, when jealousy and hatred ruled the air, and their power of life and death seemed absolute.
Seemed, I said.
He did rise again, only to rule over all! Hallelujah – He is alive and willing to save. Repent of your sins, believe the good news and follow the One who is worthy!
Don’t be a hypocrite like the religious leader Jesus rebuked. Be honest with yourself and with all around you. Love people and not things. Admit your failings, walk in humility, and seek to hear and obey the One who loves you.
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