Work or Gift? (Luke 13)

In today’s reading (Luke 13) something really popped out at me. In verses 10-17, Jesus heals a crippled woman. Because it happens on the Sabbath the synagogue ruler freaks out, runs to the middle of the room and says, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”

Read that again, it’s fascinating. He’s not accusing Jesus of doing work by healing, he’s accusing the woman of working by being healed. Bizarre, isn’t it? Somehow he thought that the act of being touched (by God) and healed (by God) is work. But it’s not. It’s a gift. Right? It’s simply receiving a gift.

And we could roll our eyes at the synagogue ruler, except that most of us are just like him. Aren’t we? If I asked you how we get healed of all our stuff and get better and grow spiritually, how would you respond? And would your answer reveal that you think it happens through work? And if it did, that’s a problem, because it’s not work, it’s a gift. Spiritual growth is a gift. All we do is put ourselves in the right position to receive it.