Monday, October 24, 2016

The Perfect Sunday Lectio

Discover the Lectio Divina #800
Monday, October 24, 2016
The Perfect Sunday
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.(LK 13:10-17)

The cure of the crippled woman on the Sabbath and the controversy that results shows a parallel to an incident that will be reported later, in Luke 14: 1-6—the cure of the man with dropsy on the Sabbath. A characteristic of Luke’s style is the juxtaposition of an incident that reveals Jesus’ concern for a man and one that also reveals his concern for a woman.

If the Jewish traditional law allowed for the untying of bound animals on the Sabbath, how much more should this woman who had been bound by Satan, be freed on the Sabbath? Yes, Satan is blamed for infirmity. Imperfection is taken as evidence of Satan’s hold on humanity. The healing ministry of Jesus reveals the gradual wrestling from Satan of control over humanity and the establishment of God’s kingdom.

Do you wonder what the leader of the synagogue was thinking? V. 17 He was humiliated. Perhaps not as much as you think. Jewish dialogue took place in the synagogue when discussing the Torah. The synagogue leader is reading the Torah correctly. But he’s “cherry picking.” He chose a section from the reading. Jesus agrees! But Jesus continues on reading V. 15 the legitimate allowances of restricted kinds of “work” on the Sabbath. Jesus also argues for the appropriateness of healing especially on the Sabbath. Then Jesus frees the “daughter of Abraham” from Satan.

Not only did Jesus win the argument, He also freed the crippled woman from her infirmity. Note that the woman never asked for healing. She was just a part of this congregation V. 12-13. Jesus asked her if she wanted to be healed. So this was part of Jesus’ lesson plan in the temple, from the beginning. Although we don’t know what the woman said, I can imagine her praise of thanksgiving was mixed in with the crowd’s rejoicing. Don’t you love it when your plans come together? We thank God, too!

Dear Lord, we praise and thank you for prayers that are answered, for the support of family and friends and the many blessings you have given us. We especially thank you for healing those who were sick, suffering from various illnesses and are in remission from cancer. There is so much sickness in this world. We appeal to you for healing, especially spiritually healing so that all may come to know and love You. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Sunday is dedicated to Our Lord.  All thought, prayer and work should be for the greater glory of God.

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