A True Sabbath (Lent 19-2019)

Jesus was gratified that people gathered for teaching in the synagogue.  It made Him happy knowing there’s a willingness to listen, and in some cases, a willingness on someone’s part to let what was being taught change his or her life. 

Luke 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.”

It broke Jesus’ heart to see God’s beautiful creation, the pinnacle of which were simply human men and women, and to see that marvelous work broken by sin.  For 18 years, this woman had been in bondage.  She was beaten down by it and looked like she had bearing the weight of a sinful world on her shoulders–that’s how crippling this spirit was.  It made Jesus sad to see her bent over, unable to stand tall and confident as God created her.  Indeed, it made Him angry at what sin did and does to God’s blessed Image-bearers.

She had come to the synagogue with no expectations other than to receive some instruction the Sabbath.  Jesus saw she needed a true Sabbath…rest from what had been crippling her for 18 years.

Luke 13:12 “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. “

Nothing more that pronouncing freedom and laying His hands on her.  That is what healed her, gave her a true healing Sabbath for her body and spirit.  Praising God for what He had done was only fitting.

Not everyone celebrated this miracle of freedom.

Luke 13:14 “Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

After all, the last thing the synagogue leader wanted was a parade of healing-seekers showing up on the Sabbath to be set free because if Jesus did it once, He could do it again.  It would upend their entire system of organization and plans for teaching.  Better for the leader to stop it before it starts in earnest.

Luke 13:15 “The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 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?”

Think about it:

  • Is it work to speak words and lay hands on someone? 
  • Is it any more work than opening scrolls and reading or teaching? 
  • What made the leader a hypocrite?
  • 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.  Why do you think the opponents were humiliated?  Why were the people delighted with what He was doing?

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your promise that “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (Jn. 8:36 NIV)”  Thank You for the freedom we have in You.  Freedom to worship!  Freedom to praise!  Freedom to seek healing and teaching!  May we always regard the true Sabbath as the one which releases us from what we have been in bondage to…and by being released from these chains, may our actions glorify You and bring You praise!

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 27, 2019

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