Jesus always challenged the ways and attitudes of the Pharisee. Those who make a show of their “piety” or who put greater weight on rigid religious laws at the expense of showing mercy and reflecting the love of God. This week in Luke 13, we hear what happened when Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath day and He healed a woman who suffered from a debilitating malady, but who came to the synagogue to learn. He saw her, called her and freed her. The synagogue leader objected over the spirit of the Law. Jesus defended His actions with assumed exceptions to the general prohibition on Sabbath work. He also raised the woman up as a “daughter of Abraham,” not only for her status as a Jew but for her presence in the synagogue. His actions on the Sabbath divided the leaders from the crowd, those who sought to destroy Him vs. those who saw His ministry and praised God for it.
He saw, He called, He freed. As Jesus did for the woman, so He does for us. Like the woman, if we accept His invitation He raises us up, not only to be sons and daughters of Abraham, but children of His Father in heaven.
Later in Luke 13 after the healing controversy, Jesus gave two short parables about the Kingdom: the mustard seed and the leavened bread. In both cases, the little amount caused a huge change; the tiny addition was almost hidden, yet the results were unmistakable.
How has Jesus called us and freed us in our lives today?