Luke 13 vv 10-17 Rewritten
One day as Jesus was in church telling stories and listening to his friends he spotted a woman shuffling slowly in the background. He narrowed his eyes as he focused on her.
‘What’s wrong?’ asked one of his mates, who could see that he was a bit distracted.
‘Hang on a minute,’ said Jesus and he eased past them and went over to her.
The woman was in pain, and her back was bent over, so much that she wasn’t able to straighten and stand up properly. Jesus leant down so he could look her in the eyes.
‘I want to help you,’ he said, with a friendly smile, and he put his hand on her back. ‘I want you to be well again.’
A crowd began to gather round as people noticed, and a hush settled over the room.
They waited, but nothing happened. They kept waiting, still nothing. People began to mutter. Then suddenly, the woman gasped and her eyes burst wide, then her mouth dropped open as she clearly felt something happen. There was a loud cry from the crowd that had gathered round.
‘Look!’ said one of them.
Like a film running in slow motion, the woman began straightening up. She kept going until she was standing upright. Then she looked at Jesus and laughed, even though tears were running down her face. She sniffed and said, ‘Look at me! Look at me!’ to the people in the crowd as she began to walk normally again.
‘Oy!’ shouted a voice.
They all turned. It was the priest. His face was contorted with anger.
‘Who did this? You’re causing a disruption here!’
‘I did it,’ Jesus said quietly. ‘This woman needed help.’
‘Well you shouldn’t have helped her here,’ said the priest. ‘You have no jurisdiction. I’m in charge not you! Cut it out. Get her out of here. We don’t do that sort of thing in my church. There’ll be complaints.’
The woman looked confused.
‘Go on, move out of here,’ the priest insisted, ‘I don’t want you coming back causing trouble. Some of my regulars don’t like this sort of thing. It’s confusing and disturbing. There’ll be gossip and rumours about what you’ve done today. I have to keep things under control, you’re a disruption to that. I’m trying to keep things in order. You’re a rebel, you’re rocking the boat. Causing trouble. Now get out, before I call the police!’
‘You don’t understand the ways of God,’ Jesus said to him, ‘I have come to help people, to show them a new way, a new life. To set them free from just the kind of things that you’re worried about. You help people, that’s only what I’m doing. Let me help you.’
‘I’ve already told you, you’re not welcome here. Now go.’
And the man ushered him and his friends to the door and forced him out.
Meanwhile the woman who had been healed by Jesus went running to her family to show them how he had changed her life. And the people in the crowd were well impressed with what Jesus had done.
Some questions to chew on:
Does doing something good sometimes involve breaking the rules?
Do you think Jesus would challenge some of the things that happen in church?
Do you think Jesus was a rebel? A trouble maker?
Can you think of a time recently when you felt misunderstood?
Would you have been embarrassed in that situation?
How do you think people would react if Jesus disrupted a normal church service today?
Do you have any other thoughts or comments?