Words intended to carry a message


Luke 13:10-16  And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” 

John Piper on Luke 13:16

Those words, “daughter of Abraham” are intended to carry a message to the synagogue leaders. The message goes something like this: On top of all the other reasons why you should care more about a suffering person than a thirsty ox is the fact that this woman is a fellow heir of the blessing promised to Abraham. You pride yourselves in saying, “We are the children of Abraham.” Well, she too is a child of Abraham. You hide from the warnings of John the Baptist by saying, “We have Abraham as our father.” Well, she too has Abraham as her father.

And so the message of Jesus to the synagogue leaders was a message not only about their Sabbath keeping, and not only about their hypocrisy, but also about how men and women ought to relate to each other as fellow heirs of God’s promises. He was saying to men in the synagogue then, and he is saying to men in the church today, “The believing women in your midst are heirs of the promises of God. They too are the meek who will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). They too are the righteous who will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43).”

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