In today’s Gospel from Luke 13:10-17, we see Jesus confronting synagogue leaders. They accuse Jesus of curing the sick on the Sabbath, as if that was a bad thing. Why? Because the leaders of the synagogue believe that such activity constitutes work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. Therefore, they think Jesus violated Jewish law. They did not correlate Jesus’ action to Jesus’ mercy.
Jesus’ Mercy Abounds
With great hindsight, and two thousand years of scriptural interpretation, we can look at this passage, and quickly come to judgment that the synagogue leaders were wrong in their thought process. The mercy that Jesus bestowed upon the woman that day was an act of love for neighbor on Jesus’ part. Through Jesus’ teachings, we have been trained to “love our neighbor” and to perform acts of charity. In today’s Gospel passage Jesus teaches us how to treat others.
In verses 15-16 Jesus attempts to address the synagogue leader’s concerns by asking:
Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath from this bondage? (Luke 10:15-16)
His form of questioning sends the synagogue leaders on their way, humiliated, because Jesus helped them to understand that human beings deserve as much care, if not more care than animals.
Grant Jesus’ Mercy to Others
So, let’s bring this question to the 21st century, with a modernized twist. With whom might you be failing to grant mercy in Jesus’ name? Who deserves Jesus’ mercy through your helping hands? Let’s not walk away humiliated like the synagogue leaders for failing to see the need for mercy. Let’s step up and do God’s will. Grant mercy to someone today.
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