Doing Good Things on the Sabbath
Today, we look at a lesson from the book of Luke, chapter 13. The story we’re looking at today is about a crippled woman who is healed on the Sabbath. Can we do good things on the Sabbath?
Let’s look at Jesus’ teaching about this topic and see what Jesus has to say about doing good things on the Sabbath.
Luke 13:10-13, “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.
- Jesus saw the woman and had mercy on her.
- Despite her physical condition, she was in the synagogue.
- She praises God for her healing.
- She had endured long-suffering, crippled by an evil spirit, bent over, could not straighten at all.
- Jesus gave her a new life.
Let’s keep reading.
Luke 13:14, “Indignant, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
The synagogue ruler didn’t appear to care about the woman’s condition or her new life. He didn’t think anything good should happen on the Sabbath.
He said to the “people,” so there must have been others there looking for healing. It looks like the synagogue leader saw healing as work (six days for work).
Luke 13:15-16, “The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 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?”
The Lord answers the synagogue ruler on behalf of the people and the woman. In his rebuke, Jesus describes the woman’s condition. He points out that animals are untied on the Sabbath to give them water. This woman was unbound from the devil after 18 long years.
Shouldn’t the synagogue leader celebrate?
Luke 13:17, “When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”
The opponents were humiliated, and the people were delighted.
Think about the woman’s condition for a minute. Satan had kept her bound for 18 long years with no relief. He had kept her from standing tall, living freely, all the while making her suffer physically. Did this woman not deserve to be set free from this bondage?
Moreover, how many times had she been in that synagogue praying and hoping to be healed? Do we know how often she hoped that she would find healing by just being in that holy place?
Where was the synagogue ruler’s compassion for those he was to shepherd? It sounds like he reserved his compassion for the other six days of the week.
The synagogue ruler was “law” driven and not “love” driven.
Are we “law” driven or “love” driven?
Do we look at people in the same manner as the synagogue ruler, or do we see what Jesus sees? How are we helping others? Are we taking the time to help or leaving it for someone else?
Lord, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried, and true. Father, help me to see people the way you see them. Please help me to see their struggle or physical limitation and do something to help. Lord, I pray for open hearts and minds in others to help those who are struggling. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.
“Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to thee, how great thou art, how great thou art.”
Blessings to you and yours.