Partial View Seats: Reflections on Luke 13:10-17

Jesus notices the woman and respects her; he deals with her tenderly and lovingly. He summons her out of the isolation into which she has withdrawn, out of a sense of shame. "Woman, you are set free from your ailment..." (Lk. 13:12 ). She stands upright and praises God. The Greek word for "raise up" (anortho) is also used for the rebuilding of a house. Jesus raises people up. He restores them to their original beauty, for they are temples of the Holy Spirit (Grun 41).

For Jesus and for Luke, the best way to celebrate the Sabbath is to raise up men and women to their original form, to delight in the divine dignity and praise God, the creator of human dignity. Luke tells this story in such a way that those who get fully caught up in it will go their way more upright (Grun 41,42).

It turns out that a partial view seat is not such a bargain after all. Not when it obstructs our view of God's desire that all God's children be restored to full dignity and human community, whatever day of the week it is.

Sources Consulted

Wendy J. Cotter, CSJ, The Christ of the Miracle Stories: Portrait through Encounter (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010).

E. Earle Ellis, The Gospel of Luke: The New Century Bible (Attic Press: Greenwood, S.C. 1977)

Lawrence R. Farley, The Gospel of Luke: Good News for the Poor, The Orthodox Bible Study Companion Series (Chesterton, Indiana: Conciliar Press, 2010).

Frederick J.

Gaiser, Healing in the Bible: Theological Insight for Christian Ministry (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010).

Anselm Grun, Jesus: The Image of Humanity: Luke's Account (New York: Continuum, 2003).

8/15/2013 4:00:00 AM
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  • Alyce McKenzie
    About Alyce McKenzie
    Alyce M. McKenzie is the George W. and Nell Ayers Le Van Professor of Preaching and Worship at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.