How The Religious Leaders Care For Their Animals On The Sabbath

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A second glance will reveal a comparison. Jesus is drawing a comparison between how the religious leaders care for their animals on the Sabbath versus their care for this woman on the Sabbath. Who do they have more care for? They are willing to untie, or set free, their animal (and lead them to water) as an act of care for the well-being and rest of their animal. Yet, Jesus makes the point, they are not willing to allow this woman to be “set free” (vs. 16) from her bondage on the Sabbath day. Are they concerned with her well-being and situation? They value their animals…. How much more valuable a human being! Notice that Jesus even repeats that it had been “eighteen long years”, an intentional added emphasis to the weight of comparison. The bondage for the animals is a drop in the bucket compared to her many years of oppressive bondage. The reader can get the feeling that the difference between the burdens and care being compared is extreme. I would like to propose a third glance. Note that the animals referred to in verse 15 fit within a certain category of animals. The ox and the donkey are specifically animals used for labor. They are used in carrying loads on their backs. This woman is compared to the animals. What is her ailment? She is “bent over”. It is her back that has been affected. There is a viable connection that her condition is related to labor. What kind of labor would affect her in such a way? Using the text, it is clear that it would be load bearing type of work. The unnamed woman represents a group. What kind of group would this represent? A group of women who have been placed into oppressive labor conditions such to the point that they are bent over and not able to stand up straight. A class of wome... ... middle of paper ... ...eligious authorities believed that God’s kingdom would be ushered in through a committed adherence to the many laws that were given and created. Jesus understanding of God’s laws and character challenged their understanding. The issue of Sabbath was a source of debate and contention not limited to Luke 13:10-17. There are several occurrences in Luke and many in the rest of the gospels. In these events Jesus wanted to make sure they understood what God intended to communicate through Sabbath. He interpreted what they misunderstood. Jesus helped their understanding, bringing illumination and life. He does the same for us. He validated alleviating the burdens of people in oppressive labor situations, and how religious observance that supports this activity reflects Gods care for humans and promotes God’s plan to give people rest, thus teaching us to do the same.

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