Jesus cures a woman on the Sabbath

Originally Appeared in : 9822-10-25/18

One day, Jesus was teaching people in a synagogue on the Sabbath. 


Among the people in the crowd was a woman who was completely bent over. She had been forced into this awkward and painful position by a spirit, and she had been suffering for 18 long years. 


Jesus looked up and noticed her. 


“Woman,” he called out, “you are set free of your infirmity.” 


Jesus laid his hands on the woman, and she was cured immediately. The woman stood up straight and began to glorify God. 


The leader of the synagogue was angry with Jesus. 


In the Ten Commandments that God gave to Moses in Exodus 20, the Fourth Commandment instructed the Israelites to remember the Sabbath day — the day on which God rested after creating the world — and keep it holy. 


“You shall not do any work, either you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your work animal, or the resident alien within your gates,” God told the Israelites. 


Over the years, however, stricter and stricter rules were put in place for what was to be considered work. And the synagogue leader considered healing a person on the Sabbath to fit the definition. 


“There are six days when work should be done,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day.” 


Jesus was having none of it. 


“Hypocrites!” he said. 


Jesus pointed out that even on the Sabbath, each person would untie their animals and lead them somewhere to get a drink of water. 


“This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for 18 years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?” Jesus asked the synagogue leader. 


After Jesus finished speaking, the synagogue leader and all of Jesus’ adversaries were humiliated. 


And the entire crowd rejoiced at Jesus’ wonderful deeds. 


Luke 13 


1. What was wrong with the woman in the crowd? 
2. Why was the synagogue leader mad at Jesus? 



The Bible details other instances in which Jesus or the apostles were accused of breaking the Sabbath. 


For example, in John 9, we read that Jesus cured a blind man on the Sabbath. When the Pharisees found out, they said Jesus was sinful and not from God. 


In Matthew 12:9-14, the Pharisees asked Jesus if it was lawful to cure a person on the Sabbath. 


“Which one of you who has a sheep that falls into a pit on the Sabbath will not take hold of it and lift it out?” Jesus replied. “How much more valuable a person is than a sheep. So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” 


Jesus then turned to a man who had a withered hand and cured him. 


And in Matthew 12:1-8, the Pharisees accused the apostles of breaking the Sabbath because they ate some grain while walking through a field. 


Jesus pointed out that when David and his men were hungry, they ate bread in the house of God that was meant for the priest, and that a priest serving at temple on the Sabbath is innocent of wrongdoing. 


“I say to you, something greater than the temple is here,” Jesus said. “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 


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