Luke 13:10 – One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God! 14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” 17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did. (NLT)
John Wesley, the founder of all things Methodist and Wesleyan, wrote the following in his Rules of Conduct for Christians: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.” Jesus taught us the same thing by his examples and words.
In this particular passage, Jesus is once again confronted by the religious leaders for what they believed to be a transgression against the Sabbath law. The Sabbath is God’s gift to us. We should all have a Sabbath, a time to draw closer to God. What better way, however, to give glory to God than by doing good for someone! We serve God by serving others. If we can’t show kindness, love, and compassion to others on the Sabbath, then when can we?
This teaching, however, goes beyond Sabbath teaching. It speaks of the many people who are held in bondage of one type or another. Even the leader of the synagogue was held in bondage, for he was not really interested in sharing God’s healing power. We, too, are called to share God’s healing power. Few will ever have the power to heal as Jesus healed, but we can all share God’s power that heals us from the bondage of sin. There are people around us who have been held in sin’s bondage as long, or longer, than the woman in this reading. They are waiting for someone to share with them God’s healing. Jesus told us in John 14:12 – “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing.”
For those of us who believe, let’s stay busy doing the works that Jesus did. Let’s do all the good we can for as long as we ever can!
Posted by Ramón Torres