Luke 13:1 makes it clear that Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. Today’s gospel reading is about a healing that takes place that day. We read that a spirit had crippled a woman for 18 years.
The miracle itself is hardly described. Some miracles go to great lengths to show the run up and the miraculous action. Here Luke rushes past the description of the miracle to get to the conflict with the synagogue officials.
The only thing Jesus does physically is to lay hands on the woman. The power of the miracle is in what precedes and follows it: Jesus announces her freedom from the crippling spirit (“Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”) with a word and when she is healed, the healing happens in the form of the divine passive (“she stood up straight” actually reads in the Greek as she “was straightened up” - assuming God as agent). All Jesus did was to lay on hands between the divine announcement and the divine action.
Jesus is keen to show God’s concern to heal, liberate and unbind his people. Jesus wants us to have life in its fullness, and sets out to free us from everything that holds us captive. This means sickness, but also human attitude and judgements which imprison or constrict us.
For Jesus mercy and compassion are paramount. Ask for a heart that is like the heart of Jesus, always compassionate and ready to defend the poor and suffering.
Do you notice how easy it is to give a helping hand when it suits and find reasons to do otherwise when it doesn’t? Do you criticise how others go about aiding those who are less fortunate? What can you do about it?