Sunday 25 August 2013

Bible Book:

Luke 13:10-17 Sunday 25 August 2013


Here is another healing by Jesus and another criticism from theauthorities.

Note that, at this stage in the story of Jesus, the leader ofthe synagogue was not prepared to tackle Jesus himself, but spoketo the people instead. Was he afraid of Jesus, or of the reactionof the people if he publicly attacked their hero? Or was it that heknew about the plotting and planning behind the scenes to trapJesus into condemning himself by his own actions. Maybe thissynagogue leader was helping to contribute to Jesus'entrapment?

We will never know, but what we do know is that Jesus was wellaware of the reaction he would provoke by healing a sick woman inthe synagogue on the Sabbath. We also know that this reaction wasthe least of his concerns. Here was a woman who had been crippledby her illness for years and his compassionate response wasimmediate (verse 12). Why should she suffer for another minute,when he knew that God's power could heal her?

So he turned the criticism back on itself (verses 15-17) andreminded the leader and people that if they were allowed to respondto the needs of an animal on the Sabbath, then why not a person indesperate need?

Rules are tools
to keep the unruly in line -
or that's the idea, at least.

Rules are restrictive, inactive,inflexible
and incapable of making allowances -
that's the idea of most of them.

Rules are meant to make fools
of those who disobey, and in that way
they also make the self-righteous smirk in satisfaction.

Rules give power to those
who tower over others in pious pomposity
and take time to tinker with tiny details
to demonstrate their dominance.

Rules rule life,
but rarely rule the heart that hurts
on behalf of all who hunger for healing and hope.

Restrictive religious rules wereswept aside by Jesus,
who only set down two rules -
Love God -
and love your neighbour as you love yourself.

© Marjorie Dobson

To Ponder

  • How do you respond to criticism?
  • Some rules seem petty, or irrelevant. Which are the mostimportant rules in your life of faith?
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