Lesson 6: Healer
Devotion: Read Luke 13:10-17. The resistance Jesus receives from the synagogue leader is part of growing opposition from Pharisees and scribes (Lk 5:17-26, 30; 6:1-5, 6-11; 7:36-50; 11:14-23, 37-54; 12:1-3). Jesus heals on the Sabbath knowing the religious leaders are watching, looking for a reason to arrest him (11:53-54). Jesus is acting out of a New Covenant understanding. The Jewish religious establishment does not understand and are not open to that change. The question of whether or not to heal on the Sabbath represents a clear difference of opinion regarding the role of religion and faith in life. The Pharisees and scribes see people’s problems as subservient to keeping the rules. The traditions outweigh their needs. Jesus believes tradition should serve to draw people closer to God. Jesus calls them hypocrites because they are willing to make exceptions to their traditions, indicating they know their real purpose. When we keep rules simply so the rule-keepers feel powerful and in control, we have lost sight of God’s presence. Can you think of any rules or laws so definitive, no exceptions are ever made for them? What is the connection between rules and living in moderation?
Personal Worship Option: Find a place of rest today. Spend time there. If you need something to help you focus on God’s presence, pray a breath prayer: Lord Jesus Christ (as you breathe in), have mercy on me (as you breathe out).
Dig A Little Deeper:
13:10 Again, we note Jesus is teaching when the opportunity for healing arises. Likewise, he returns immediately to teaching about the reign of God (13:18-22).
13:11 Where were you 18 years ago? Ponder that length of time. The woman is described as being bound by an evil spirit (13:11) and by Satan (13:16). The two terms are used interchangeably.
13:12 The woman does not come to Jesus expressing faith. Rather, Jesus calls her forward. When he describes her as “a daughter of Abraham” (13:16), it may indicate she is faithful, but clearly she does not pursue healing. This demonstrates yet another circumstance in which Jesus heals.
13:14 The Law forbids work on the Sabbath (Ex 20:8-11; Deut 5:14). However, traditions surrounding that Sabbath restriction allow for the care of animals if requirements are met that limit the work. Who should decide when an exception should be made in a tradition?
13:16 Jesus reinterprets Sabbath restrictions to allow that which honors God and frees God’s people. How might these boundaries help the church decide how to keep Sabbath now? Using these criteria, what are examples of activities Christians should avoid that are socially acceptable?