Luke 13:10-17

 

 

1. Lk 13:11 A Woman was bent over, stooped, and could not straighten up. The gospel identifies this as a result of a spirit. The fact that she is bent over means she was constantly in a posture of bowing. As a representative of all people she has been bent down by evil (the evil spirit) and is made to be constantly humiliated by sin, by the adversary. (The word used according to Vines is "sunkupto" which is a combination that means "to bow together" (sun, "together with," kupto, "to bow"), is said, in Luke 13:11, of the woman crippled with a physical infirmity". Thus we are all made to bow together under the weight of sin and the power of evil.)

2. This time Jesus did not wait for a request nor an act of faith before he acts. He calls her forward and tells her she is saved. The calling and her response are key. Jesus calls us all too, and we must respond by coming forward and accepting salvation.

He performs a specific action that is very sacramental in nature, he lays on hands. See Mark 16:18; Acts. 9:12; 28:8 and Acts 8:18; Acts 13:3 ;Acts 6:6;1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6. See the Catechism of the Catholic Church on the sacrament of the sick, especially section 1519.

This action by Christ drives out the evil spirit's influence so she is able to straighten up, i.e. her humiliation is removed. This fact of salvation prompts her to praise God as should all those who receive Christ's give of grace, salvation. She represents all of us who receive salvation. We too are no longer required to bow low in humility as though we were slaves and servants but can stand up because we are now God's sons and daughters, heirs to the kingdom, because of Christ. See grace in the Catechism.

3. The Rabbi is indignant that Jesus does this on the Sabbath. Why? Could it be jealousy that Jesus can do this and he cannot? Could it be that he was supposed to have center stage but Jesus "takes over" and deprives him of the people's attention? The source of negative emotion is often different than the reason given. Here he goes on to say that Jesus should work on the rest of the days of the week. He is equating Jesus action with that of a physician rather than seeing it as good defeating evil. However, his real motive for his objection comes from deep within the human heart. Proverbs 20:5; Mark 7:20-23.

4. Jesus' reply tries to enlighten the synagogue leader that the Sabbath is a day when good should be done, a time when the power of God should be made manifest. He points out that she had "been held bound to Satan", and was therefore enslaved by evil. What better day to save her than God's day?

5. The religious leader finally realizes the truth of what Jesus says but feels humiliated. Thus the humiliation has shifted from her to him. He has not rejoiced at what God has done so he enslaves himself to the evil. This is very dangerous. When a powerful person feels humiliation he often attacks. Eventually these religious leaders do retaliate by killing Christ. They should have seen the truth and been saved but their emotions blind them and so they sin. "The people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing" and so the people have hope, but the fear of loss of power and prestige by the leaders becomes their undoing.