Luke 13:17 – October 26, 2020

When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him. Luke 13:17 NABRE            

This verse closes a small yet powerful passage written by Luke. A woman is unable to stand and in pain for eighteen years and Jesus offers her healing. Her healing causes the leader of the synagogue to criticize Jesus for working on the Sabbath and speaks to those gathered saying they should come for healing on the other six days. (Imagine that, it makes me laugh.) Jesus challenges the leader giving examples of when he has done “work” on the Sabbath and defends the Sabbath healing of the woman as a faithful daughter of Abraham. The quoted verse indicates Jesus’ adversaries were humiliated and the crowd rejoiced. From a human perspective this would seem natural, embarrassed leaders because of a failed rebuke of Jesus and a crowd who sees Jesus as their defender so they are joy filled and happy.  Scholars would tie the humiliation of the leaders to a passage from Isaiah (45:16) that suggest Jesus is the God of Israel, the Savior. But I wonder what Jesus thinks? Is He unhappy about the humiliation because He loves everyone including those leaders? I also wonder if He is unhappy because the crowd is happy about seeing the humiliation of the leaders. Not a loving response from the crowd. 

I have followed Jesus for many years and I think He would be wounded by someone’s humiliation and just as wounded by someone rejoicing over another’s faltering. I suppose we should not be ok with it either, embarrassing or rejoicing. Jesus allows Himself to be pushed around and taken to the cross, anyone could imagine Jesus handily defending Himself, but to do so would be unloving. 

Are we loving if we rejoice at someone’s failure? Are we loving if we embarrass someone?

Jesus allows Himself to be pushed around and taken to the cross, anyone could imagine Jesus handily defending Himself, but to do so would be unloving. Click To Tweet

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