T h i s _W e e k ' s _S e r m o n
“Jesus Healed Her, Anyway”
10Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. 14But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the Sabbath day?” 17When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. (NRSV)
ometimes we forget that Jesus was a scholar and a teacher of children and adults in the local synagogues. He set an example for reading and studying into adult life. Study gave Jesus a caring heart for persons in pain.
Verse 10 points out that Jesus was teaching on this particular Sabbath day when he noticed a woman present who was bent double and had been in that condition for eighteen years.
Jesus knew that it was a Sabbath day and that the rabbinical law would not allow any work on their sacred day. Jesus could be banished from the synagogue if he healed her. Healing was considered the work of the physician and even the doctor’s work was not allowed on the Sabbath. So, counting the cost and placing the woman’s healing ahead of protocol “Jesus Healed Her, Anyway.” This speaks to us on a personal level for Jesus cares this much about us.
As anticipated the leader of the synagogue became indignant, outraged. He loudly pointed out to the crowd that there were six days to work, but absolutely no work could be done on the Sabbath, even by a physician.
Jesus seems to have been taken aback by this appalling treatment and called the leader a “hypocrite.” Jesus pointed out that even the Jews had made allowances for necessary work on the Sabbath; such as, feeding the farm animals. Thus, it logically should be acceptable to free this very crippled woman from her bondage, even on the Saturday Sabbath.
When I was a child most church families observed a quiet Sunday. I had the notion that children were not supposed to have any fun; but we sneaked around and cut up anyway. I think that the quiet Sundays were forever changed when The Ed Sullivan TV Show started having Elvis and The Beetles as special guests. It was obvious that no kids had been to youth group the night before.
Jesus won the encounter. Many of the people who heard the debate probably became followers of Jesus. The more inflexible rabbis were understandably angry as Jesus. Verse 17 says that Jesus “shamed his enemies.” Some of these same people followed Jesus to the Cross and there saw Jesus give his life to save, not just one woman, but to offer Grace to everyone who would become his disciple.
Millions down through the last twenty centuries have been emotionally blessed by the great love that Jesus always has for all people. This has encouraged us to follow his example and we have allowed Jesus’ sensitivity toward individuals to lead us to become more like Him.
One of the great joys of my years of ministry has been able to assist with and be a part of the lives of young persons who have been called to ordination. Sharing with Jesus in healing human souls is the main reason that clergy candidates respond to the calling. They will tell you with smiles and tears how their desire is to be an instrument of Jesus’ continuing risk taking with souls like our dear sister in today’s text who felt the healing power of Jesus who Healed Her, Anyway.
sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor