Yesterday, we read about a woman who was healed. It could have been an awesome moment. But the resistance. The resistance spoke up.
The leader of the synagogue was a respected member of the community. He wasn’t a pharisee, not a teacher of the law, not from Jerusalem. He was from this town, selected by the people of this synagogue because of his influence and maturity.
Luke says, Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
When there is intense emotion, I often wonder what is going on in the person who is reacting. I do this with myself, I do this with others.
- What does this broken plate matter so much?
- Why does the color of the carpeting in the church matter so much?
- Why does the synagogue leader get indignant?
He’s scolding the people for coming to see Jesus. He’s not comfortable with confronting Jesus, of course, but he’s suddenly aware that there is a downside to all of these people coming to see Jesus. A big crowd is great. But a big crowd can provide lots of witnesses to disruption.
And this man isn’t a trained religious scholar. He may have wanted to study, but he had to stay home and run the family business. And a guy who feels a little insecure when trained rabbis are around can get scared when their rules get broken. They could shame him. He could lose friends, lose position, lose business.
And a guy who feels a little insecure about living in a roman occupied country can get scared when their rules get broken. We often can feel threatened when Jesus is doing things that don’t fit with our understanding of who he is and how he works. And can get defensive about the rules.
We’ll finish on Thursday.