April 20, 2019
A Day of Healing and Joy
But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” Luke 13:14, NKJV.
“And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her; and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”
The compassionate heart of Christ was touched at the sight of this suffering woman, and we should suppose that every human being who looked upon her would have rejoiced that she was loosed from her bondage, and healed of an affliction that had bowed her down for eighteen years. But Jesus perceived by the lowering, angry countenances of the priests and rabbis that they felt no joy at her deliverance. They were not ready to utter thankful words because one who had been suffering and deformed by disease was restored to health and symmetry. They felt no gratitude that her deformed body was made comely, and that the Holy Spirit made glad her heart till it overflowed with thankfulness, and she glorified God.
The psalmist says, “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me.” But in the midst of the words of gratitude is heard a discordant note. “And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day.” He was indignant that Christ had caused an unhappy woman to sound a note of joy upon the Sabbath. In a loud voice, harsh with passion, he said to the people, “There are six days in which men ought to work; in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.”
If this man had really had conscientious scruples in regard to the true observance of the Sabbath, he would have discerned the nature and character of the work that Christ had performed…. The work that Christ had done was in harmony with the sanctification of the Sabbath day. The people on this side and that side wondered and were glad at the work that had been wrought for the suffering woman; and there were those whose hearts were touched, whose minds were enlightened, who would have acknowledged themselves the disciples of Christ, had it not been for the lowering, angry countenances of the rabbis. – The Signs of the Times, April 23, 1896.
From Devotional: To Be Like Jesus, p. 148.