Luke 13:
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 
16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

The guy in charge of the synagogue is an interesting character in this story. He is not a rabbi per se; more of a program manager at the synagogue. Instead of seeing a new way to help this hard luck lady, he complains about Jesus breaking Sabbath law. With a disregard for the sudden relief she experienced, he appeals to his sense that there must be something wrong with all this.

Pastor Tullian Tchividjian said, “Legalism breeds a sense of entitlement that turns us into complainers.” [1]

Jesus responds to the man’s hypocrisy by reminding that all present would take care of an animal on the holy day, so why not find ways to take care of people on the Sabbath as well?

There is an unfair amount of legalism that sometimes prevent people from getting well. We are quick to settle for impossible when with God all things are possible. Do we really think that our understanding of an issue is the final word on how things really are?

Don’t ask a short-sighted man without glasses (like Mr. Magoo) to describe the face of the moon on a clear night. He may insist that the moon is a hazy orb with no distinctive features, but that is only because he lacks vision to see what is there. He may legalistically defend against those who claim to see more than he does.

Jesus was able to heal the long-term back sufferer by seeing what others missed. He was able to diagnose and treat what everyone else could not see. May God help us to see people more clearly and with more compassion.

[1] Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Crossway Books


Jael said…
Love this. It should serve as a reminder that health care is not health as well. Government legal health systems are just as legalistic and God is still the healer. Don't let the diagnosis limit God.