Luke 13:10-17 (New Revised Standard Version)
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And 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. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.
14 But 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.” 15 But 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? 16 And 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?”
17 When 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.
Some Thoughts on Today’s Reading—Pastor Pam
When reading Scripture one can find many messages. It’s why every Sunday thousands of preachers can look at the same passage and have very different sermons for their congregations.
Luke 13: 10-17, the passage where Jesus heals the woman who has been bent over for 18 years, is about many things. Is it okay to heal someone on the Sabbath? The Pharisees confront Jesus and say no. Is it about the mercy and compassion Jesus has for the woman? Is there a clue about Jesus and how he breaks rules to ease or stop suffering?
The challenge for a preacher each week is to examine the threads that make up a Bible passage and prayerfully consider what he or she is called to say. It can help to consider what might be going on in the church or out in the world. A preacher might ask, when is it okay to break the rules? How do we show the mercy and compassion of Jesus Christ when others do not see the situation the same way?
Luke has another theme here. It is one of healing and being able to see from right to left, from up to down. Because of the healing hand of Christ, the woman can see clearly all that is going on around her. Being able to see, she praises God.
One wonders what her new-found sight enabled her to discern about the world and people around her. Would she, too, seek to ease suffering? Would she, too, break a rule if it meant fully following the God she praised?
Peace and Grace,