The Life of the Lord Jesus Christ

By Johann Peter Lange

Edited by Rev. Marcus Dods

VOLUME II - SECOND BOOK

THE HISTORICAL DELINEATION OF THE LIFE OF JESUS.

PART V.

THE TIME OF JESUS APPEARING AND DISAPPEARING AMID THE PERSECUTIONS OF HIS MORTAL ENEMIES.

 

SECTION IX

a fresh Sabbath cure: the woman who was bowed together

(Luk 13:11-17)

We very soon find the Lord, in consequence of a fresh cure on the Sabbath-day, entangled in another dispute with his opposers. But this entanglement has a peculiar stamp. It seems to indicate more peaceful circumstances,—a period when Jesus was already working more in retirement; at any rate, a neighbourhood where they did not as yet venture to come forward against Him so openly. Jesus found in a synagogue, on the Sabbath-day, a woman who for eighteen years had had a spirit of infirmity, i.e., a demoniacal disease. With her the evil did not consist in any kind of madness, but in her being completely bowed together, and in her discerning in this crookedness the enthralling coercion of a demon, who did not permit her to raise herself up in any way, or even to look up. She was thus in the saddest sense bound; and it most deeply grieved and angered the Lord to see a daughter of Abraham in this pitiable form, or rather deformity, of demoniacal enchainment. His manner and way of healing her indicated the character of her disease itself. He cried out to her: ‘Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity!’ And thus He removed the spiritual evil. Then He laid His hands on her. And thus her bodily evil was immediately removed. She stretched herself up straight, and began to glorify God who had healed her. The ruler of the synagogue had no perception of the glory of this event, he only felt indignant at this cure on the Sabbath-day. But he, however, belonged to the timid country opposers of Christianity, and only ventured indirectly to reproach Christ by angrily storming at the poor people. ‘There are six days for labour,’ he zealously exclaimed: ‘on those days, therefore, come and be healed, but not on the Sabbath-day.’1 Jesus with good reason took to Himself the indirect rebuke, and cried out to him: ‘Thou hypocrite! doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And this woman, who is a daughter of Abraham2, and whom Satan hath bound, mark well (ἰδού), these eighteen years, ought she not to be loosed from her bond on the Sabbath-day?’ These words of Christ put His adversaries to shame. But the assembled multitude were filled with great joy at the glorious occurrence, and at Christ’s triumphant self-vindication.

 

1) He only spoke according to the prejudice of the Jews at that time, which, where delay was at all possible, absolutely forbade the healing of the sick on the Sabbath, and an exception was only allowed when the danger to life was imminent. Tauchuma, fol. 9, 2. Periculum vit pellit Sabbatum, inquiunt nostri Sapientes: necnon circumcisio et illius sanatio. Verum inquit Rabbi Akiba: hc est regula, quod vespera Sabbati fieri potest, non pellit Sabbatum. Sepp, ii. 334.

2) De Wette (Luk. p. 73), on the words θιγατέρα Ἀβραάμ,, makes the remark: A notion of humanity characterized by popular narrowness!!