The leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” But the Beloved answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie your ox or your donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?”
Watch what Jesus does:
He notices what hurts, and goes there.
He offers healing, unconditionally.
He heals not only a spine but a life.
He calls a woman supposedly cursed with illness
a “daughter of Abraham”—worthy, named, and belonging.
He values people over principles.
He opposes a status quo that justifies suffering.
He confronts those in power who use it for harm
(again, noticing the wound and going to it).
He doesn’t break God’s law: he interprets it more deeply:
as a law of liberation, not requirement or prohibition.
He invites us to see Sabbath, and God’s law, and all of life in a new way.
He gives us permission—and a theology—
to live lives of love in the face of oppression,
regardless of rigid systems, and despite resistance,
to offer mercy and healing and love.
“He teaches with authority!”