Wednesday 02 November 2011

Bible Book:

"Woman, you are set free from your ailment." (v. 12)

Luke 13:10-17 Wednesday 2 November 2011


The right use of the Sabbath was a continual controversy betweenJesus and his opponents. There were strict laws about what couldand could not be done on the Sabbath and while healing fulfilledthe spirit and the purpose of the law it was called as 'work' andas such should not be accepted on the Sabbath. This healing of along term complaint on the Sabbath is once more challenged by theleader of the synagogue who felt that she could have been healed onany other of the 6 days of the week. Jesus rebuked the hypocrisy ofthis approach by pointing out the Jewish practice of looking afteranimals. It was accepted that animals needed to be looked after onthe Sabbath and so food and water was given to them. Surely theyshould have greater concern for the wellbeing of a woman and acceptthe healing from Jesus. In Jesus' day, the woman's ailments wereseen to be caused by Satan who had trapped her into bondage: sheneeded to be set free by the power expressed through Jesus. We seeJesus' power over Satan and the reaction of both the woman and thepeople who turned to God to praise him. They recognised thatsomething special had happened. But the leader of the synagogue,who should have been God's person, did not see anything of God init.

This is a good passage to try and enter into in an imaginative wayto feel something more of what was happening here. Spend a fewminutes thinking about which character you would like to be. Wouldyou be the woman who was healed, amazed at Jesus noticing her? Thesynagogue leader who was so concerned about rules that he missedGod's action? Or a member of the crowd looking on in wonder? Whenyou have decided then slowly read the passage again. Ask God tospeak to you as you spend time with the story.

To Ponder

How do you react to the thought that the woman'sillness was caused by Satan?

What do you think people today, includingyourself, need to be 'set free' from?

Many people bemoan the fact that, for manypeople, Sunday in Britain is just another day. How do you react tothat?

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