Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, He called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid His hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?” When He said this, all His adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
Set free on the Sabbath day. Our rest day (or “Sabbath” to the Jews) is meant to allow us to praise and thank God in the midst of our busy week, and to remind us that our bodies need rest because we are not machines. At the same time, our rest day tells us that human work should not make us forget God’s primacy in everything.
What greater praise and glory can we give to God if – like what Jesus does to the poor sick woman – we can do such things on our rest day! God would surely be more pleased if we visited the sick or the prisoners and comforted hospital patients on Sunday (or any Sabbath day, for that matter) than if we simply stayed at home, especially if these people have been suffering for a long time, just like the poor woman in the Gospel.
Jesus is not indifferent to the sufferings of the poor. On the contrary, He shows us what gives greater praise and glory to God rather than a legalistic approach to the rest day.
How do you and your family spend the Lord’s Day?
Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2017,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.
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