^C Luke XIII.10-21.
^c 10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath day. [Our Lord's habit of teaching in the synagogue, which had been for some time interrupted by his retirement, had probably been revived during the mission of the seventy.] 11 And behold, a woman that had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years; and she was bowed together, and could in no wise lift herself up. [The use of the word "spirit" in this verse indicates that the curvature of the spine which afflicted this woman was attributed to demoniacal agency.] 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her, and said to her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.13 And he laid his hands upon her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.14 And the ruler of the synagogue, being moved with indignation because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, answered and said to the multitude, There are six days [quite enough] in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the day of the sabbath. [There is not evidence that the woman came with any intention of being healed, nor was the ruler angry at her, but at Jesus. Too cowardly to openly rebuke Jesus, the ruler fell to reprimanding the people, and thus indirectly censuring the Lord.] 15 But the Lord answered him, and said, Ye hypocrites, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? [The word "hypocrite" was among the strongest ever used by our Lord. He here applies it to the whole class to whom the ruler belonged and for whom he was the spokesman -- the class who are mentioned as "adversaries" in verse 17. Their hypocrisy appears in two ways: 1. They were disguising their hatred toward Christ under a pretended zeal for the Sabbath.2. Their zeal for the Sabbath was at no time sincere, for they favored indulgence where their own interests were involved, but applied their Sabbath rules sharply where others were concerned. It was their tradition and not the Sabbath which Jesus had broken, and he here attempts no other justification of himself than to show that he is guiltless under a fair application of their own precedents.] 16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years, to have been loosed from this bond on the day of the sabbath? [Taking their own conduct on the Sabbath day as the basis for his justification, Jesus presents three contrasts, each of which made his action better than theirs: 1. He had blessed the woman instead of an ox.2. He had loosed from a disease instead of from a comfortable stall.3. He had relieved a waiting of eighteen years' standing instead of one of some few hours' duration -- the brief time since the watering of the morning. He mentions the woman's descent from Abraham because, according to their ideas, it made her worthy of every consideration. In attributing the infirmity to Satan he acknowledges the action of the demon as Satan's agent. Disease were not infrequently ascribed to Satan and the demons -- Acts x.38; II. Cor. xii.7.] 17 And as he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame: and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. [The people rejoiced not only in the miracle, but in that wisdom which silenced the narrow-minded rulers. The triumph which they rejoiced in was but a slight foretaste of the victories to come, and to point out the nature of those victories the Lord spoke the two parables which follow.] 18 He said therefore, Unto what is the kingdom of God like? and whereunto shall I liken it? 19 It is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and cast into his own garden; and it grew, and became a tree; and the birds of the heaven lodged in the branches thereof.20 And again he said, Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 21 It is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened. [For comment, see pp.337, 338.]