Luke 13:10-35, Proverbs 23
Since Jesus is the most interesting person in history, there have been many portrayals of the “real Jesus.”. One common depiction of this singular Man is that of Him being rebel against the status quo, especially of the religious elite and the laws of Israel. The truth is, this picture is both wrong and right. Jesus certainly opposed the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other teachers of the law. Jesus, however, did not oppose them as they were faithful to the law, but because they were faithful to their misguided interpretations and practices of the law. I would argue that this is most obvious in how Jesus’ opponents related to the Sabbath. Jesus’ healing of the “bent” woman demonstrates how much God’s fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11) had been misunderstood. When Jesus heals her, and questions these religious leaders whether it is good to heal on the Sabbath or not, one would expect an honest person to shut their mouth in awe at Jesus’ wisdom. Instead, like cantankerous old fools, they suggest this disabled woman should come for healing on any day but the Sabbath, showing they have misunderstood the plain fact the Sabbath is given by God for our rest, healing, and enjoyment of our Lord’s creative power. Jesus affirms the Sabbath, but desires everyone to understand the purpose of the Sabbath is rest, that is physical rest, and resting in God’s love. It is hard to rest better than someone who can lie down in comfort after 20 years of having a broken body. Jesus indeed has come to bring good news!