This isn’t the first time that Jesus and the religious establishment clashed over the law and its bearing on Sabbath healing. The issue hinged on the law’s definition of work. Officials of the law held that healing was work and therefore not to be done on the Sabbath. Humankind was made for the Sabbath, not the reverse.
It was in regard to applying this line of reasoning to the freeing of a woman from the bondage of her infirmity that our Lord pointed out a major flaw in official thinking. Although they were officials of the law, they freed their livestock from bondage on the Sabbath to water them, yet the leader of the local synagogue had balked at our Lord’s freeing a daughter of Abraham sin-bound for 18 years. What, implied our Lord, was the difference between the two situations? Apparently, no one could come up with a response.
Jesus challenges the religious leaders to look beyond the Sabbath rules to find the true purpose of the law: to honour God by helping those in need, Sabbath day or not. It follows, certainly then, that on Calvary our Lord followed the ultimate purpose of the law by freeing us from our bondage to sin.
God of the law, we thank you for your work of salvation. Amen. — AEA