July 19, 2012

Jesus Is Available on the Sabbath

Luke 13:10-17

“Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.”
—Luke 13:12


There is a saying that goes, “Some people are so heavenly minded that they are no earthly good.” The Pharisees were so Sabbath-minded that they were no earthly good. They worried about their righteous standing before God and did not notice the obvious: a woman “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years.”

While teaching on the Sabbath, Jesus made clear that God was available for doing good on the Sabbath too, even if the Pharisees weren’t. Our Lord was interested in bringing hope in God’s kingdom, in which all will have full life forever.

In a calm and gentle voice, he called the woman to him and said, “You are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus placed his rough hands on her crooked body and filled her with God’s healing power. At once, she was healed, and she praised God. Joy came to her on the day that was meant for freedom and worship.

But not everyone was thrilled with Jesus’ intervention. The Pharisees were unhappy because Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath, a day meant for no work. Jesus, however, knew the Sabbath was for doing good and showing grace in the name of the Father. He restored the Sabbath to its original intent: that all good things come from God, who is always available to help us. Thank God that he never takes a day off from caring for you and me!

Dear Jesus, you are Lord of the Sabbath. Help me see that you are always available for your children who cry out to you. Hear my cry, I pray. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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