At that time, Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your infirmity.” 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 hypocrite! 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?” As Jesus said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
1. When was the woman in this gospel healed?
2. What was her reaction?
3. How does the ruler of the synagogue react to her healing?
4. Why do you think he reacts this way? What good things does this tell us about him? What is problematic about his reaction?
5. What “rules” do we have in the Orthodox church?
6. When do we sometimes react the way this ruler did when people “break” rules? Why do you think we do that?
7. What can we do to learn how to react like the woman did?