Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Christian Approach to Differently AbledJesus Heals a Crippled Woman on the Sabbath
V. 16: " Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
In this passage, we see a poor woman who has been bent double for 18 years. This woman was severely crippled and unable to participate in normal society. For eighteen years she had survived as an outcast yet practiced her faith by coming to religious worship in the synagogue. Jesus calls the woman over. All she does is move to Him. No words are exchanged yet she is cured. The leader of the synagogue is proactive, laying down the law about healings on the Sabbath. He addresses the congregation ignoring Jesus. But the Lord addresses the religious leaders who are so attached to rules that they cannot rejoice in a poor woman being healed.
Jesus wants us to have life in its fullness and sets out to free us from everything that holds us captive. Sometimes, the weight of the past can disable us - sorrows, resentment, nostalgia, remorse, and an overwhelming attachment to things, people, and places. Sometimes religion can cripple us and make us hard-hearted like the Pharisees. Jesus wants to free us of any improper impediments, ligatures, or restrictions. He wants to restore us to a proper stature and to let us see what he sees.
In this story the woman is healed; she is made straight. We know that when we see, touch, and announce freedom from the burdens that weigh us down, not all of us are cured. But as in this Gospel story, we are all set free and given wholeness, purpose, and promise through Jesus Christ. And when given an opportunity to look around and see those bent over and unable to stand, crippled by a spirit, and we should also be like Jesus and offer to heal them.
Dear Lord Jesus, I pray that you Straighten me up and unshackle my heart from crippling attachments. I ask you to transform my religion-bound hard heart to one that is like the heart of Jesus, always compassionate and ready to defend the poor and suffering. Lord, when I am overwhelmed, let me remember that your yoke is easy and your burden is light. Amen.
Thought of the day
Let’s live a life that reflects righteousness and not is overburdened by religion.
The Mar Thoma Church, Staten Island