Turning Up the Heat

Luke 13:10-17

In this passage, Jesus manages to infuriate the religious establishment of His day, and believe it or not, He didn’t even have a Twitter account. He did it simply by going to synagogue on the Sabbath, as any good Jew would do. When He was there, He saw a woman crippled by a demon for some 18 years, and then… He called up front so everyone could see Him heal her affliction.

Did I mention it was the Sabbath?

In doing this, He stuck His finger right in the eye of their customs, and they didn’t like it one bit. The synagogue leader points out that He can heal six days a week, but not on the seventh, which if you think about it, isn’t all that unreasonable, at least on the surface. Sadly, the religious leaders never got much further into anything than the surface.

Jesus replied to this by pointing out that they wouldn’t think of keeping their animals tied up for the whole day, and neither would God have His child tied up by Satan on the Sabbath; He had set her free. As Luke points out, they were humiliated, and rightly so, for their reasonable argument had been exposed as purely idiotic.

The people were delighted.

As relevant as this exposé of their ridiculous tradition was, there was a larger lesson in all of this, for Jesus has been in the process of demonstrating to His disciples the distinction between their religious leaders and their traditions, and what it means to be a citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven. In this little episode, He has shown them that God does not care for our forms and religious traditions, for these are the inventions of men. Rather, God cares for our souls, and in His view, there is no legitimate reason for anyone being bound by the devil in any such form of religion: They must be set free.

Jesus had come to set everyone free from slavery to sin, death and the oppression of this world, and He did not care what the reaction of the religious establishment would be to His actions; “do not worry about such things”.

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