October 29 – Luke 13:10-17

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Luke 13:10-17 – Healing the Crippled Woman

Jesus continues to expose the hypocrisy of the religious leaders in Israel in this next story. One thing it shows is that though the religious leaders refuse to acknowledge that God is working in the present time, the kingdom is continuing to be manifested among them. Jesus has brought the kingdom of God to earth and it will not be stopped.

Luke emphasizes the extremity of the woman’s misfortune. She had dealt with this problem for eighteen years and it had finally destroyed her body to the point that she could no longer stand upright. He interrupted his teaching in the synagogue to heal her.

Now, the leader of the synagogue wasn't stupid enough to confront Jesus. No, he took a more passive aggressive stance and addressed the people who had just witnessed this amazing miracle. In his attempt to put Jesus in his place from afar, he ordered the people to come for healing on any of the other six days of the week. Work was not to be done on the Sabbath.

But Jesus doesn't respond to this attack on the crowd. He directly faces down the synagogue leader. In fact, he uses the plural when he calls out the hypocrites. It is the entire group of synagogue leaders that Jesus is disgusted with. These people are more concerned with their animals than they are a woman who is a daughter of Abraham … a Jewess.  This takes us back to Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. She is the neighbor. She is the one who is important. They can attempt to twist the Law for their own good, but when they twist it so that someone else is imperiled, Jesus will have none of that.

Luke uses a couple of literary devices in this passage. In Luke 13:12, Jesus tells the woman she is freed from her disability. In Luke 13:15, he uses the word ‘untie’ to emphasize the freedom that is given to the ox or donkey. He is clearly pointing out the differences between what they do and what they should be doing.

There are three points of contrast in the last verses – the ox (or donkey) and the daughter of Abraham; the stall and Satan; and finally, the contrast between material bondage and spiritual bondage. The final contrast silenced his adversaries, but it didn't stop them from continuing to look for ways to damage his ministry.