“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him” (Luke 13:10-17).
Can you imagine being stuck in a hunched over position for eighteen years! This lady had to be miserable! No doubt there were times when she was tempted to think that God didn’t care about her. However, she still had faith in God and attended the synagogue. One day Jesus was there teaching. He called her to Him and healed her. That had to be exciting! No doubt many people were used to seeing “the hunched-over lady” in the synagogue and were thrilled that Jesus had healed her, and she was no longer hunched over!
The ruler of the synagogue wanted to make it an issue that Jesus “worked” on the Sabbath when He healed her. He didn’t bother to mention that Jesus had delivered her from her misery. Shows how much he cared about people, doesn’t it? By the way, this was one of the “company lines” of the religious establishment: that Jesus wasn’t of God because He broke the Sabbath. Of course, many Pharisees knew Jesus was of God, although they apparently said so secretly. Nicodemus, a Pharisee, told Jesus, “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (John 3:2).
When the ruler said she should have come on a non-Sabbath day to be healed, Jesus replied, “Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?” If they took care of animals on the sabbath, why not take care of people?
On another Sabbath day, Jesus healed a man with a withered hand and faced this accusation about breaking the Sabbath. He answered His accusers, “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep?” (Matthew 12:11-12). By the way, if you meet any animal-rights people who say animals are equal to humans, you can show them this Scripture and tell them that Jesus said they’re not.
After Jesus replied to the ruler, as our Scripture says, all His adversaries were ashamed. They saw that Jesus, God the Son, was right, and they were wrong. The religious leaders confronted Jesus many times during His earthly ministry, and every time they did, they lost. This essay is not about police work at all, but it helps us because it tells us a lot about Jesus. The more we read about Jesus, the more we grow “…in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).
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Brian Miller 8/10/2018
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822