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Monday, February 1, 2010

2/1/10 Luke 13:10-17 You deserve a Break today!

(Ox in the ditch- Lk 14:15)
2/1/10- Luke 13:10-17

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath." 15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Calvin Abridged: Here Jesus cures a woman but the Jews maligned him because it was on the Sabbath. The woman had an unusual disease that bent her nerves and was spiritual in nature. The Lord, from whom alone all our blessings flow, makes his glory to shine with peculiar brightness in those blessings which are more remarkable and rare. “Woman you are set free”- Christ shows his purpose in granting relief to the wretched and that he had authority to deliver. “She praised God” because the glory was clearly His, and this makes the synagogue ruler’s comments that much more foolish. 14- “There are six days”- Here the ruler does not directly attack Christ but indirectly condemns him to the crowd. He asks them to come for healing on the other six days as if the power of God goes to sleep on the Sabbath! But when believers assemble for worship they are given the opportunity to ask for Divine assistance. This hypocrite spoke as if the lawful observance of the Sabbath would interrupt God’s favor, hinder people from calling on Him, and take away all feelings of God’s kindness. Christ answers (15) that if it is lawful to be humane to cattle, should we not be kind to the children of God? If they loose the chains of their cattle for water, could he not lawfully loose the chains of Satan who bound her? Christ never performed any work, however great, in which the wicked did not find something wrong. Satan also was at work (then and now) clouding the glory of Christ so that the actions of holy believers are not seen.

Thoughts: Jesus healed on the Sabbath at least seven times. It almost appears he was picking a fight, but he was really trying to make a point. He says that the Sabbath is for doing good not harm (Mk 3:4). He says the Sabbath is a blessing for people (Mk 2:27). He had previously noted that sheep are taken out of harm’s way on the Sabbath (Mt 12:11). This was one of Jesus favorite analogies, and chastised those who would value their animals ahead of human beings.  Jesus saw himself as the Lord of the Sabbath (the one who instituted and ruled over it- Mk 2:27) . Jesus was not eliminating the Sabbath, but redefining it. He regularly was in worship (Lk. 4:16) but allowed for deeds that would truly help people (like eating and healing). In our day in which we overvalue work and the things work does for us (money, houses, things), and overextend ourselves, we need a balance of a day of rest. But we must recognize the day of rest is not a day of torture but a day of help and to help. We live in a stressed out society in which depression is epidemic. We are like plants in a drought without any roots. We need to let our roots go down deep into the eternal help of Christ and find our strength and rest in Him. Taking time for Him on the Sabbath is one way to do that. Jesus is interested more in our healing than our rules. The Sabbath is for healing. It is a way to get a break and put on the brakes for what is really important.

Prayer: In our over-worked but under-employed world, help us, O Lord, to find our rest in you. Thank you for helping us in life by granting us healing and rest.

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