A Woman with a Disabling Spirit
10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 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. 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. 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.” 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? 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?” 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.
Observations and Reflections
Jesus was consistently the primary target for the different religious rulers of that time. They were jealous of His ability to teach, heal and love with authority and power. They were also so stuck in their old ways that they became blind to who Jesus is and the truth that He was always preaching.
Jesus is pointing out the hard lesson that the Christian life cannot be reserved for just one day out of the week. The Sabbath, much like our traditional Sunday, was a time in which yes, they remembered God and all that He had done for them. However, we ought to be reminding ourselves of that every single day and the Christian life is to be lived out each day of the week.
Sunday is not just a day that is reserved for loving and worshipping God. It is a daily reminder of why we ought to be doing that all week long and how we have the awesome privilege of meeting together with a body of believers to do so. Sunday is a day in which we can celebrate with other believers about what God is doing and be encouraged to keep on pursuing the Christian life.
These religious rulers were so bent on just keeping to their old ways, that the Christian life was not truly playing out in their hearts. Jesus pointed out their legalistic way of thinking and living and showing that God cannot just reside in their hearts one day a week. A set of rules and traditions is not what earns you a strong relationship with God.
A heart that is filled with a genuine love for God and following after Him, is what induces growth and a hunger to keep seeking after God. It results in a deeper relationship with Him and a desire to daily grow closer. Our hearts are not measured by the amount of good works we do and rules we abide by. It is measured by how strong our love for God is and in doing so, spreading that love to the rest of the world.