Wednesday: Psalm 39 & Luke 13:1-20

From Kyle Sandison

In Luke 13:10-17, Jesus is teaching in the synagogue and he sees a woman in need of healing. Luke tells us that the woman suffered from "A disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself." Jesus calls her to him and declares her free from her disability. She stands upright and praises God. She is immediately healed.

The synagogue ruler is immediately indignant. It's the Sabbath and people weren't supposed to be healed on the Sabbath. There are six other days for healings, he says. Let's keep the Sabbath day holy. But Jesus calls out this hypocrisy: "Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?"

The synagogue ruler, for all his desire to keep the Sabbath holy, has a deficient view of the Sabbath. Jesus reminds him that the Sabbath, of all days, is a day for restoration and being set free. And so Jesus frees the woman from a disabling condition, which had kept her bound for nearly two decades. Now she is free to move as God designed her to move. She is restored. 

With his sharp rebuke of the synagogue ruler, Jesus reminds him that the Sabbath, of all days, is a day of restoration and freedom. In fact, that's what Jesus' whole ministry is all about: restoration and freedom. In his death and resurrection, Jesus frees us from the sins which keep us bound, and gives us a new freedom to live as God designed us to live: restored and free.

I'm a seminarian, and I'm married to Hanne. I enjoy bluegrass and coffee.