3/13 Luke 13:11-12

11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your disability."

As Jesus was teaching in a synagogue one Sabbath, He noticed a woman who was bent over. The passage tells us the source of the problem was a disabling spirit. Jesus called her over and told her that she was freed from the disability. He put His hands on her and immediately she straightened up and gave glory to God.

The ruler of the synagogue was indignant. He told the congregation that they should come any of the other six days of the week to be healed, but not on the Sabbath. Jesus called the ruler and all who agreed with him hypocrites. He reminded them that they untied their ox or donkey on the Sabbath to lead it to water. Then Jesus asked if this woman who was a descendant of Abraham shouldn't be untied from her affliction on the Sabbath.

Jesus used a method of debate that they were familiar with: lesser to greater. If you could do this act for an animal on the Sabbath, then why not for a human who has more value in the eyes of God? Jesus' adversaries were ashamed, but the crowd rejoiced at the glorious things done by Him. Jesus had once again shown that the heart of the heavenly Father is not to have you perform meaningless rituals or obey just to obey, but to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18). Love fulfills the law (Romans 13:10).

Consider: Jesus taught that the heart of God was gracious and merciful. If a religious rule and the law of love are in conflict, the more important thing is to show love to others. We can have the religious leader's tendency to put rules first, so we must always remember God's rules are based on love for Him and for our neighbor.