Up Against the Rocks
Babylon the Great Is Fallen

Good News on a Sabbath Day



Christ healing an infirm woman by James Tissot, 1886-1896.

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And 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.

When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment."

When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God.

But 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."

But 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? And 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?"

When 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.

-Luke 13:10-17 

Speaking a word of liberation and healing is not desecrating, but celebrating Sabbath in its truest meaning. A woman who had labored under a crippling curse for years, was set free by the embodied gospel of grace in Luke 13.

  • The good news puts people ahead of rituals.
  • The good news infuriates those who use religion to build up their own power at the expense of people.
  • The good news does not contradict the meaning behind the forms, but breaths new life into them.
  • The good news causes the broken to stand up straight.
  • The good news exposes hypocrisy.
  • The good news shames the opponents of Jesus but causes rejoicing among the people.