Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
Imagine being present in this scene with Jesus. You are in the synagogue listening to Him preach. Next to you is this woman who has not been able to stand for years because she is extremely crippled. Jesus walks over to her with love in His eyes. He lays hands on her and says, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” A miracle has occurred before your very eyes! She stands up for the first time in 18 years and begins to glorify God! You cannot believe your eyes. All those who are present are mystified. What is it about this man that people are cured of severe illnesses?
But not everyone is amazed. The synagogue leader is outraged that Jesus has just “worked” on the sabbath. Why would he condemn Jesus when we have just witnessed a miracle? Was he jealous? Was he afraid? Did this threaten his standing in the community?
Jesus calls him a “hypocrite” for not understanding. Jesus is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. He is the creator of the sabbath. He came to love, to reconcile, to heal, to draw all people back into one with God. Who cares on which day of the week this happens?
What can we learn from this story?
- We have a God who loves us immensely. God wants to love us, to heal us, to draw us into a radical union with Himself. His heart is moved to compassion when we are suffering.
- Some people in this world allow pride to get in the way of allowing God to be God. This can be true especially in religious circles. Do I allow my selfish desires to get in the way of God’s plans?
- We place religious rules and expectations above the salvation of souls. The most important law in the Church is the salvation of souls. The healing of this woman is a foreshadowing of her salvation. In fact, the word healing and salvation come from the same root word. Do I keep heaven in mind before acting or speaking?
Allow yourself to be amazed as you sit in this synagogue. Watch the Lord love and heal. Let Him heal you and be His instrument of healing in this world. Have a blessed day!