August 21, 2022 Healing on the Sabbath

Posted on August 31, 2022

Home Sermon August 21, 2022 Healing on the Sabbath

August 21, 2022 Healing on the Sabbath

What a miracle it is to be healed.

To suffer for so long and then to instantly be cured.

It all happened on the sabbath day.

Jesus was teaching the people and then there appeared a woman.

This woman was crippled and bent over.

For eighteen long years she suffered in this way.

But Jesus sees her.

He notices the woman – he does not ignore her.

And most importantly he sees her pain.

He calls the woman over to him.

“Woman,” he says, “you are set free.”

Jesus then lays his hands upon her and immediately, without delay, she stands up and praises God.

Now you would think that the healing story would end there.

And there would be this great celebration of the miracle that Jesus preformed.

A woman who was crippled is now set free from her ailment.

But, as we see from the text, this is not the case.

The leader of the synagogue instead of joining in the celebration and the joy of the healing miracle he is instead indignant.

He is upset that Jesus would heal on the sabbath.

Here in this Bible reading we see division on how one should treat the sabbath.

Now remember from last Sunday – Jesus said his words and his actions would cause division.

Today we see this happening in the healing story.

The synagogue leader is upset that Jesus would do such a thing as to heal on the sabbath.

By doing so he believes Jesus is breaking God’s commandment of working on the sabbath.

He is blinded to God’s ways and he cannot see the miracle that just happened.

At that time healing a person was seen as work.

To the synagogue leader Jesus is not following the law.

But wisely, Jesus will have none of it.

Jesus can see through this man’s intentions here.

The man is not concerned about God or on the woman in need of healing rather his intentions are focused on casting judgment on Jesus.

And so, Jesus says to that man and to those who are listening that this woman, who Jesus just healed, is a daughter of Abraham, in others words, Jesus is saying that this woman is a child of God.

And that she was in bondage for eighteen years.

Jesus sees the situation for what it is and he makes it right.

What is more important not working on the sabbath or in helping someone who is suffering.

Of course, we know the answer.

This is not a trick question.

God’s will is always to relieve suffering.

In this case it is to relieve the suffering that the woman is enduring.

Jesus wants to heal her.

In the end Jesus puts his opponents to shame and the crowd rejoices.

In hearing this Bible story right now, I wonder what comes to your mind?

How do you understand the sabbath?

What meaning does that day hold for you?

And what are your thoughts around healing and being cured?

As with every gospel reading that we hear on Sunday mornings there is always a lot to unpack.

So much is happening in this particular text.

We have the woman who is crippled.

We have Jesus who is teaching on the sabbath day.

We have Jesus breaking the sabbath law and healing the woman.

We have the synagogue leader who is indignant that Jesus would heal on the sabbath.

And finally, we have the crowd who witness everything that happens.

Now if I had to pull one key takeaway from this Scripture reading it would be this… that Jesus loves the woman who is suffering.

This text is really not about the sabbath or the synagogue ruler and his feelings about Jesus or the crowd or even about Jesus’ teachings.

This reading is about Jesus’ great love for a child of God who needs help.

What we learn from this reading from the Gospel of Luke, is that Jesus loves us and wants to heal and save us from our pain and suffering and then to bring us back to God and to others.

By healing on the sabbath Jesus shows us that he does not want us to suffer for even one day more – he wants us to be healed now.

In our world today there is great suffering and pain all around us.

Even God’s earth cries in pain from the ways in which we have harmed God’s creation and have not acted as faithful stewards of God’s world.

There is much healing that is needed.

Healing for the world, healing for our communities, healing for families, healing for those who are crippled.

To be healed is to be relieved from suffering and to be brought back to wholeness and oneness with God and others.

As we place our hope and trust in a God that desires wholeness and wellness for us, we too will rejoice with the woman who was healed.

Even on the sabbath Jesus wants to heal and to restore and to forgive.

For that – may we praise God for Jesus’ power over the spirits that cripple us and for Jesus’ great love for each one of us.

Amen.

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