The Sin of Healing

The so-called “sin” of Jesus in Luke 13:10-17 is that He healed on the Sabbath. The Jews & God, who handed down the 10 Commandments that were interpreted by Moses & others in the community, were not heartless. There were provisions for when life was at stake. If someone’s ailment meant immediate life or death, then there would be an expectation and obligation to give immediate medical help. While the synagogue leader did not seem to interpret the bent over woman’s ailment as necessary for life and death, and quotes the Law to Jesus and the crowd in verse 14, Jesus disagreed.

 

Jesus healed her immediately. Jesus initiates her healing in verse 12. The woman receives the healing. I wonder what Jesus was teaching about in verse 10 just before spotting this woman and choosing to heal her. Perhaps He was teaching on the importance of loving neighbor, or having abundant life, or the dignity and worth of all people. Healing this woman would be an affirmation of all 3 of these lessons and many others that Jesus taught and embodied throughout His life & ministry.

 

Jesus was and is in the healing and liberating business. Jesus wants us to stand tall, move freely, breathe deeply, and be our best.

 

Why did Jesus use the example in verse 15 when responding to the synagogue leader and the crowd? “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?” As the caretaker knows what the livestock needs and is obligated to faithfully respond to them, so is Jesus with people. Jesus knows what the woman and what we need, and is faithful to respond to our needs.

 

This woman needed Jesus and needed healing. While patience is a Fruit of the Spirit, why should she or anyone else have to wait another hour or day to be healed while in the presence of God? God is all about the here and now, and the later still coming.

 

My friend, Kyndall Renfro, gave a sermon here discussing the particular need for women today to be healed from being hunched over as a result of cultural assumptions and ridiculous internalized expectations for who and what women should be. I am bent and in need of healing from heavy burdens, and I am ‘bent’ on going to tell it on the mountain that there is a Healer, a Liberator! A theological, hermeneutical, and spiritual perspective that focuses on healing of all people in need is precisely the spirit of Jesus Christ Himself.

“And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you.” [Galatians 3:27-29]

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