Daily Update #146

Pause:  As we prepare to look at God’s Word let us quieten our minds, so that His Holy Spirit may speak to us today.

Rejoice in these words from Psalm 1:  Blessed is the one…whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Pray:   Heavenly Father, as we consider again your Holy Word may your Holy Spirit strengthen us and encourage us in our walk with you.

Reading:  Luke 13: 10 – 17

In his Gospel Doctor Luke records two instances of Jesus healing a woman in need.  The first is in Chapter 8, when a woman who has been haemorrhaging for 12 years is healed by touching the cloak of Jesus.  In this instance, in Chapter 13, we read of the healing of a woman who is so bent over that she probably couldn’t have reached out to touch the cloak of Jesus even if she had wanted to.

This is a Sabbath Day, and Jesus is teaching in one of the synagogues, when He sees this poor woman, calls her forward and heals her.  As we see so often in the Gospels, Jesus sees a need, responds to it, and the woman is miraculously healed. She must have been ecstatic, as no doubt would any of her friends or family here with her, but not everyone rejoices at her good fortune.  This, as I say, takes place on the Sabbath, and sadly this wonderful blessing invokes an angry response from the synagogue leader.  The Pharisees and rulers of the law had concocted a plethora of rules concerning the Sabbath, so many and so detailed that it was indeed very easy to fall foul of the laws.  However, as Jesus points out, if it is alright to minister to the needs of a thirsty ox or donkey then how can it be wrong to come to the aid of someone in great need?

As I read this quite familiar story two things stood out for me.  Firstly, when Jesus calls the woman forward, He then puts his hands on her as He says, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”  For a man to put his hands on someone of the opposite sex who was not a member of one’s family was to immediately invite scorn and condemnation, but Jesus doesn’t hesitate; He does what is necessary.  For us today, it is well worth remembering that Jesus is always ready to reach out to us in our times of need.  We all struggle from time to time, but we can be assured that the love of Jesus never fails, and that His promise to be with us forever still holds true.

The second thing that struck me was when Jesus reminded the leader of the synagogue, and all those gathered around, that this woman was a daughter of Abraham.  In Jewish society at this time women were very much considered to be second class citizens, yet here Jesus points out that all the Jews can look back to their common ancestors, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all should be treated equally. 

The lesson for us today is very much the same.  We are all children of a loving heavenly Father, whose beloved Son came to offer salvation to all, without any division or favouritism.  Jesus demonstrated the boundless love of God the Father, and we are called to love as He did, with no limits whatsoever.  I’m not saying that this is always easy, but as I mentioned earlier, Jesus Has promised to be with us in every situation, and He, by His Holy Spirit, will guide us and strengthen us as we seek to follow Him.

Heavenly Father,   open our eyes to your presence,
open our ears to your call,
open our hearts to your love,
that we may give ourselves to you
and walk before you as children of the light,
through Him who is the Light of the World,
Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.