Our scripture this morning is ‭‭Luke‬ ‭13‬:‭10‬-‭17‬.

One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God! But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.” But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?” This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.

We have heard a similar lesson in Luke 6. Usually when there are repeated teachings in scripture, it is because they are important and we need to hear them more than once to understand. Jesus has such a love for all of us that He will reach out to us no matter what human activity is taking place, even (maybe especially) during worship.

After the woman was healed she stood up straight and praised God. This should have been a cause for rejoicing among the whole congregation, but the ruler of the synagogue was angry. We can only speculate on why he was upset, but likely because it took attention away from him and put it where it belonged – on God!

Jesus was patient and kind, but He didn’t allow anyone to hold a double standard as the synagogue leader does. It depends on the translation, but Jesus often calls religious leaders hypocrites and fools because they don’t understand what is really important. He teaches us here that God’s love is able to reach us no matter what our situation. May we look for miracles in our lives every day and praise God for His mercy.

Loving Lord, we are grateful for the love and care You have for us all. May we be children of Your light, sharing it everywhere. Amen.

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