10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and 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. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16Then 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?” 17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
- The synagogue ruler was indignant because Jesus broke the rule of Sabbath. Yet he could not see through the law and understand that it is out of compassion that Jesus healed the woman. This shows how little understood grace was and how little desired. The woman who experienced grace praised God. But the synagogue ruler rebuked Jesus for helping her. Jesus pointed out their hypocrisy that they would easily release an animal in order to care for them, but wouldn’t rejoice for a person released from Satan’s bondage.
- In their fervour to keep all of their rules and regulations, the Pharisees ended up neglecting to love others. You can also take the rules literally in order to rationalize your lack of concern for others (ie. insisting on tithing but refusing to help the needy; insisting on attending worship on time but refusing to pick up someone out of the way).
- Do you make excuses for neglecting to do good? Pay close attention to God’s whispering in your heart.
Suggestion for Family Devotional Time: What did Jesus do on the Sabbath? Why was the synagogue ruler angry with Jesus? What did Jesus answer? What does this teach us about helping people? What are the things your family do to help people?
Prayer & Journaling: On your prayer journal, as you listen to God, write down a few thoughts, questions, words, names, drawings, or anything that has come to your mind during this time.
Proverbs for Today 8:1-4
1 Does not wisdom call? Does not understanding raise her voice? 2 On the heights beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; 3 beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries aloud: 4 “To you, O men, I call, and my cry is to the children of man.