Jesus Broke a Sabbath Rule to Heal a Woman

“Women of the Bible” series by Ann Little

Luke 13:10-17
When I first moved to Japan and lived in Aichi-ken, I was curious about all the little old bent over ladies that I saw. I wondered, was this a result of carrying babies on their backs for many years, or long hours working out in the fields, or from many years of deep bowing? Knowing that they probably suffered pain, I also wondered at their ability to keep going and marveled at their strength and tenacity. In Luke 13 we read a very brief story about a women with a similar condition.

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“She had been crippled by an evil spirit and bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight.” Her illness was not her fault. It was the result of evil from Satan. She did not purposely seek healing from Jesus, but she was at the Jewish synagogue, listening to Jesus’ teaching. When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, touched her and healed her. “Dear woman” he called her.

What was her reaction? Standing up straight and tall, she praised God!!

What was the synagogue leader’s reaction? He was indignant!! As leader, he was the keeper of the rules of the synagogue. Notice that he scolded the crowd, which would include the woman. He did not directly scold Jesus. “If you need healing, don’t seek healing on the Sabbath,” he said.

Jesus’ response: “Hypocrites!!! Your Sabbath rules allow you to take care of your animals on the Sabbath, but not a daughter of Abraham.” His response put the synagogue ruler in his place, but elevated the woman. She was a “Daughter of Abraham” a true daughter of faith, not some animal or piece of property. He lifted her up physically and spiritually!

What was the crowd’s reaction? They rejoiced!

In Matthew 12:8, Mark 2:27 and Luke 6:5 Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” The Sabbath was created for our benefit and as Lord of the Sabbath Jesus knew how best to celebrate the day. He healed and blessed a dear woman, defeated Satan, and brought glory to God.

What a wonderful way to celebrate the Sabbath!!