Thursday, December 27, 2012

Jesus Still Heals on the Sabbath

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.” (Luke 13:10-17)
Working on the Sabbath. A friend of mine who came from a formerly communist country once remarked to me while enjoying free beer Friday at seminary, that he liked the rhythm to the week in America. I had never really thought of it. But he said, no in his country one day is pretty much like the next, there is no sense of a weekend. It hit me that there are probably many places like that in the world. I had just never really noticed it even when I was visiting, though I have to say the concept of Sabbath rest seems very much more pronounced in the secularized Western Europe than it does here in the states. There you are hard pressed to find a restaurant open on Sunday. I do have to say, I like the rhythm of the work week too.
What I don’t like is people condemning others for working on Sunday. Not working on Sunday is a luxury. Enjoy it if you can. There are many reasons that this is not an option for others. In the early church it was more or less a given that the Christians would not be taking Sunday off, most of them were slaves. They got up before the sun rose to go to church. They made it back before their masters got up so that their absence went unnoticed. Today, most people have Sunday off, yet even the one’s who call themselves Christian have a hard time making it to church three hours after sun up. It’s depressing. And those same people will tell you you shouldn’t work on Sunday. That’s all I have. I am not going to get around to gospel on this post. Except to say, Jesus still heals on the Sabbath, the crowds knew it in his day, they knew the Sabbath was a good day to go pester Jesus. It still is. He still comes to us then to forgive us our sins, make us clean and otherwise heals us, if we had sense enough to care.

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