he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11And,
behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and
was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12And
when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13And he
laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified
God. 14And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation,
because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people,
There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be
healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15The Lord then answered him,
and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on
the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to
watering? 16And ought not this
woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen
years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17And
when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the
people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. [i]
Another Sabbath miracle.
Note the twofold problem and the twofold solution: Physical ailment
caused by a demon. This woman had one of the worst cases of illness recorded
in the Bible. She had a severe malady.
The problem arose not because our Lord healed her, but because He
healed her on the Sabbath day. The Lord healing people on the Sabbath day was
a recurring source of contention between Himself and the religious rulers.
This woman had a spirit of infirmity that had plagued her for eighteen
years. It is difficult to translate into English the terminology that Dr. Luke
uses to describe her condition. They are medical terms. Her illness was
Because of it she was bowed down or, as Weymouth translates it, “bent
double.” This poor woman could not lift herself up. Here was a woman in a
desperate condition. She was an unfortunate wretch who was an object of pity.
This was probably one of the most terrible cases of physical infirmity
that the Lord dealt with on earth. [iii]
It is hard to believe the comment of the synagogue officials. Surely no
one could be this calloused.
He rebukes their hypocrisy and of their mixed up value system.
They would release their ox.
Jesus released the woman from what bound her (Satan).
I think Satan was not the only thing that was binding.
The religious leaders were too.
I must confess that I do not understand why this woman had been
bound by Satan. She apparently was not an immoral person, as she was a regular
attendant at the synagogue even in her condition. It was in the synagogue that
the Great Physician said to her, “Be loosed.” He laid His hands on her,
and immediately she was made straight and glorified God.
His touch upon her was not essential but was an aid to her
faith. It was personal contact. And personal contact with Him is the important
thing for us also. The perfect tense of the verb loosed
stresses the completeness of the cure.[iv]
The ruler of the synagogue rebuked her sharply—yet this woman had not
come to the synagogue with any intention of being healed.
The reaction of the religious ruler was strange indeed. He was more
interested in the rule than he was in the fact that a poor woman, who had been
shackled for eighteen years with a grievous infirmity, had been freed.
The Sabbath question was the most important issue to these religious
rulers. Yet Sabbath prohibitions had become a burden too great to be borne.
Jesus makes His point well. But there remains in every generation
the temptation for traditions and programs to take priority over the needs of
The Sabbath question is still one of heated debate today. The important
thing is not to argue about religion, but to learn to live it.[vi]
The people, though they heard Him gladly, seemed to go no farther with
Him. It is possible to become so religious and callous that you can exclude
Jesus from your life too. You may know all the answers and be an expert in
argument, but the real question is, “Have you ever let Christ into your
There is no substitute for that. Are you filled with doubts? Are you
puzzled or troubled? Are you bent double with the burdens of life? Then come
to the Lord Jesus Christ with your burdens and sins. You can come to Him
anytime. He is ready and waiting to meet your need.[vii]
Jesus demonstrates the hypocrisy of Israel’s leadership for
perverting the Sabbath and having no compassion for people. The Sabbath was
made for the benefit of man, not for bondage.
The Sabbath was a sign of the mosaic covenant (the law).
What God did in the law was make provision for men by sacrificing
animals. They had taken the
animals and made them more important than humanity.
They not only had missed the Sabbath, they had missed the very point of
THE DEFINITION OF HYPOCRISY
(5273), corresponding to the above, primarily denotes “one who answers”;
then, “a stage-actor”; it was a custom for Greek and Roman actors to speak
in large masks with mechanical while they read a script. They used devices for
augmenting the force of the voice; hence the word became used metaphorically
of “a dissembler, a hypocrite.”
THE NATURE OF HYPOCRISY
Since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of
righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself. [ix]
It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he
has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such
contemplation to look into himself.
For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and
upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our
injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if
we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also—He being the only
standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced.
THE CHARACTERISTICS OF HYPOCRISY
repentance, Exodus 9:27.
hearts, Deuteronomy 11:16
rapport in time of need, Judges 11:1–10.
right with limitations, 2 Chronicles 25:2.
of hypocrisy, Job 4:1–3; 11:4–6.
friends, Job 6:15–17.
to fool God, Job 13:9.
by one’s own words, Job 15:6.
of giving while withholding, Job 25:14.
with hypocrites,” Psalm 26:4
cordiality, Psalm 28:3.
different from speech, Psalms 55:21; 62:4.
prayers incite God’s anger, Psalm 80:4.
counted as sin, Psalm 109:7 .
men, Psalm 119:113.
thoughts, smooth talk, Proverbs 26:23
true self by false speech, Proverbs 26:24–26.
insincere rapport, Proverbs 27:6.
morning religiosity, Proverbs 27:14.
prayers of lawbreakers, Proverbs 28:9.
hypocrites, Isaiah 33:14
oaths, Isaiah 48:1–2.
piety, Isaiah 58:1–2
fasting, Isaiah 58:4–5.
than thou, Isaiah 65:4–5
statement, Jeremiah 5:1–2
hypocrisy, Jeremiah 7:9–11.
rapport, Jeremiah 12:6.
to hypocrisy, Ezekiel 14:4.
for hypocrisy, Ezekiel 16:56–57.
not practicing, Ezekiel 33:31.
hypocrite, Hosea 12:8.
blessing misused, Hosea 13:6.
of hypocrisy, Amos 4:4–5.
hypocrite, Jonah 1:9.
leaders, priests, Micah 3:11.
the Lord, Molech, Zephaniah 1:5.
offerings from defiled people, Haggai 2:13–14.
fasting, repentance, Zechariah 7:1–6.
hypocrites, Malachi 2:13.
Herod and the Magi, Matthew 2:7–8, 13.
use of Scripture, Matthew 4:1–11.
of the Pharisees, Matthew 5:20.
righteousness in public, Matthew 6:1.
paid in full, Matthew 6:5
hyper-piety, Matthew 6:16–18.
plea, Matthew 7:21–23
of Pharisees, Matthew 15:7–9; 21:31–32; 23:1–3; Luke 11:45–54.
mercy while mistreating another, Matthew 18:23–35.
without wedding clothes, Matthew 22:11–13.
outside, filthy inside, Matthew 23:25–28.
akin to murder, Matthew 23:29–32.
Faithful, unfaithful service, Matthew 24:45–51.
service, Mark 7:6.
miracles, Mark 9:38–41.
what you preach, Luke 3:7–8.
actors,” Luke 12:56
of hypocrite, Luke 13:23–27.
honesty, Luke 20:20.
praise, John 5:41–42.
syndrome, John 7:19
search for salvation, John 10:1.
judging others, Romans 2:1.
one thing, doing another, Romans 2:21–24.
who cause divisions, Romans 16:17–18.
in name only, Galatians 2:4
hypocrisy, Galatians 2:11–13.
attention, Galatians 4:17.
pretense, Galatians 6:12–15.
humility, Colossians 2:18.
liars, 1 Timothy 4:2
godliness, 2 Timothy 3:5.
tongue, James 1:26.
hypocrisy,” James 3:17
versus Possession, Titus 1:16; 1
John 2:4–6; Jude 12–13.
in darkness, 1 John 1:5–7.
hypocrite, 3 John 9–10.
of Christian liberty, Jude 4.
Feigning life when spiritually dead, Revelation 3:1.[x]
Humanity is more important than animals. I can’t help but think
about our animal rights activists who put the existence of a salamander, a fish
or a bird over the welfare of people. And recently we’ve heard several news
stories about people keeping pit bulldogs and bobcats in a residential
neighborhood and these animals severely injuring people.
Hypocrisy and lack of compassion is the result of and evidence of
an unrighteous religious system.