“An Interpretation of Luke 13:10-17, the Story of the Healing of the Infirm Woman,” by Andrew J. Schatkin
My dear Christians and non-Christians, and you of all faiths and thoughts and all views and opinions, I bid you and ask you to join with me in another voyage of intellectual discovery where those who may wish to engage in critical thinking and do not engage in and accept media lies, falsehoods, political code words, and hype can join in the effort to gain truth and facts amid the barrage of corruption and virtual darkness we are confronted with and befuddled and made effective fools of. I welcome you in this quest and task of attaining and coming to know intellectual honesty and honest discernment. Join with me in this voyage of discovery to get at and find what is valid and authentic in the world of confusion and to come with me in tearing apart he curtain of lies and darkness that hides from us what is truth and facts.
Ladies and Gentlemen now seek to present an interpretation and explanation of Jesus’s cure and healing of the infirm woman found in the gospel of Luke chapter 10 verses 10 to l7. I do this with humility and hesitation as a mere mortal in the face and words of the eternal god the savior and redeemer of the world and the king of creation. The verses are as follows: “Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath and there was a woman with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years and she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself and when Jesus saw he called her and said to her ‘women you are freed from your infirmity’ and he laid his hands upon her and immediately she was made straight and she praised god but the ruler of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath and 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.’ Then the lord answered him ‘You hypocrites, does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ass from the manger and lead it away and water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for 18 years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?’ As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame and all the people rejoiced at the glorious things that were done by him.
What are we to make of this event in the life of Jesus and his most deep and profound words? Jesus runs afoul of the ritual law when he does this healing and cure on the sabbath and the ruler of the synagogue is angry and jealous and raises the specter of this legalism and violation of a technical element of the ritual law. Jesus in healing on the sabbath has the moral law first and foremost and as an example notes that this religious leader will on the sabbath untie his ox or ass from the manger and lead it away to water it. And then Jesus says this infirm woman bound for 18 years be loosed from this bond on the sabbath. There is no answer and his enemies and critics are ashamed and the people rejoiced at the glorious things done by him.
Here, Jesus is ending the ritual law, not allowing healing on the sabbath, and tells the moral law and obligation to heal this infirm woman on the sabbath; he is replacing the ritual with the inauguration of a new religion. He says and tells us why this woman bound for 18 years be loosed from her bond and infirmity and suffering on the sabbath and no ritual law should stand in the way of this moral requirement and command. The ruler is annoyed at or jealous of this threat to his power who the people praise and now in droves. Jesus tells us here that the kingdom is not just for men. Jesus note of how this little person responds to god’s call is contrasted with the religious leader to legalisms and to where the true kingdom may be found in the person of this weak and infirm woman. Jesus argues from the lesser to the greater, animals to men. The woman belongs to the new Israel and new Christian religion in formation. The new Israel and new religion is not limited to males or the healthy. The woman is in the bonds of Satan and Jesus has released her from the bonds of evil a precursor of releasing all the captives from the hands of evil and demonic forces. The purpose of the sabbath for Jesus is the rule and actions of compassion and love. What Jesus has done her is to release her and humanity from the fallen order and release us from the rule of Satan. It is noteworthy that Satan and demonic forces are the cause of the woman’s infirmity and in healing this woman on the sabbath he has ended the rule of Satan for all time, bringing the new regime into being based on love and compassion and not on ritual legal requirements which he had set about to abolish to be replaced by the moral law dictated and founded on love.
I do hope have benefitted all who read this essay on the gospel of Luke and urge you most important to return to and read and reread the biblical text which is much more than I can do; it will lead you to a fuller and complete understanding of the words of Christ, something I can only attempt to engage and seek to present to a confused world much in darkness.