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“The Crippled Woman in the Synagogue”

  • International
  • October 29, 2012
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Here we encounter yet another of those incidents, so frequent in Luke, in which Jesus’s kindness to the unfortunate, and specially to unfortunate women is attested.

The scene is a synagogue on the day of the Sabbath. So this episode is not just one of healing, but a story of confrontation as well.

As he is teaching in the synagogue, Jesus’s eyes alight upon a woman bent double with age and infirmity, a hunchback in fact, for 18 years. He looks at her with compassion, lays his hands upon her and says, “You are rid of your trouble.” The woman straightens up at once and begins to praise God.

But this cure annoys the president of the synagogue, for it has been done on the Sabbath, which is meant for ‘rest’. “There are six days for work,” he sneers. “Come and get cured on any of them – not on the Sabbath!”

Jesus is infuriated at the hypocrisy of this remark. “Is there anyone of you,” he cries, “who will not untie his ox on the Sabbath, and take it to the trough to feed it? And here is a woman in bondage to Satan for 18 years - and when she is released, you protest!”

But this has ever been the way with the powerful on this earth. They object to freedom for women, slaves, the oppressed, the migrant worker, all in the name of religion. “You can’t do this!” they say. “You’re not allowed to do that.” However their own manipulation of religion is quite acceptable!
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