Luke 13:14
And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation.—The traditional law for the work of the Jewish physician was that he might act in his calling in cases of emergency, life and death cases, but not in chronic diseases, such as this. This law the ruler of the synagogue wished to impose as a check upon the work of the Healer here.

Luke 13:14-17. And the ruler of the synagogue — Instead of joining in acknowledgments of the divine power and goodness, displayed in this gracious action of our Lord; answered — The woman’s praises, with indignation — As if Christ had committed some heinous crime in healing this poor woman! He endeavoured, however, to disguise his wrath under the form of piety and zeal; as if he was angry only because the cure was wrought on the sabbath day; saying unto the people, There are six days, &c., in them therefore come and be healed — See how light he makes of the miracles which Christ wrought, as if they were things of course, which might be done by any one any day of the week. One would have thought, that the extraordinary miracle now wrought might have been sufficient to convince him that Jesus was a divinely-commissioned teacher, who spoke and acted by authority from God; and that the circumstance of the miracle’s being done on the sabbath day could not have served to enable him to evade the conviction. But what light can shine so clearly or strongly against which a spirit of bigotry and enmity to Christ, and his gospel, will not serve to shut men’s eyes? Never was such honour done to the synagogue of which he was ruler, as Christ had now done to it; and yet he had indignation at it! The Lord then answered him, Thou hypocrite, &c. — Our Lord gives him this appellation, because the real motive of his speaking was envy, not (as he pretended) pure zeal for the glory of God. Ought not this woman — Ought not any human creature, which is far better than an ox or an ass: much more this daughter of Abraham — Probably in a spiritual as well as a natural sense; to be loosed? Thus the Lord soon put this hypocritical ruler to silence, by placing the action with which he found fault in the light of their own avowed practice. They loosed and led their cattle on the sabbath to water, and thought the mercy of the work justified them in so doing. He, by uttering a word only, had loosed a woman, a reasonable creature, and a daughter of Abraham, that had been bound with an incurable distemper, not for a single day, but so long a time as eighteen years. Without doubt the far greater mercy of this and the other godlike works which Jesus did, justified his performing them on the sabbath day, as the ruler might easily have seen, had he not been wholly blinded by his superstition. When he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed, &c. — The folly even of the men of learning among the Jews, conspicuous in this and some other instances mentioned in the gospels, shows the malignant nature of superstition. It is capable of extinguishing reason, of banishing compassion, and of eradicating the most essential principles and feelings of the human mind.

13:10-17 Our Lord Jesus attended upon public worship on the sabbaths. Even bodily infirmities, unless very grievous, should not keep us from public worship on sabbath days. This woman came to Christ to be taught, and to get good to her soul, and then he relieved her bodily infirmity. This cure represents the work of Christ's grace upon the soul. And when crooked souls are made straight, they will show it by glorifying God. Christ knew that this ruler had a real enmity to him and to his gospel, and that he did but cloak it with a pretended zeal for the sabbath day; he really would not have them be healed any day; but if Jesus speaks the word, and puts forth his healing power, sinners are set free. This deliverance is often wrought on the Lord's day; and whatever labour tends to put men in the way of receiving the blessing, agrees with the design of that day.Answered with indignation, because ... - He considered this a violation of the Sabbath, doing work contrary to the fourth commandment. If he had reasoned aright, he would have seen that he who could perform such a miracle could not be a violator of the law of God. From this conduct of the ruler we learn:

1. That people are often opposed to good being done, because it is not done "in their own way" and "according to their own views."

2. That they are more apt to look at what they consider a violation of the law in others, than at the good which others may do.

3. That this opposition is manifested not only against those who do good, but also against those who are "benefited." The ruler of the synagogue seemed particularly indignant that "the people" would come to Christ to be healed.

4. That this conduct is often the result of envy. In this case it was rather hatred that the people should follow Christ instead of the Jewish rulers, and therefore envy at the popularity of Jesus, than any real regard for religion.

5. That opposition to the work of Jesus may put on the appearance of great professed regard for religion. Many people oppose revivals, missions, Bible societies, and Sunday-schools - strange as it may seem - "from professed regard to the purity of religion." They, like the ruler here, have formed their notions of religion as consisting in something "very different from doing good," and they oppose those who are attempting to spread the gospel throughout the world.

14. with indignation—not so much at the sabbath violation as at the glorification of Christ. (Compare Mt 21:15) [Trench].

said to the people—"Not daring directly to find fault with the Lord, he seeks circuitously to reach Him through the people, who were more under his influence, and whom he feared less" [Trench].

Answered here signifies no more than, he spake, as in a multitude of other places in the Gospels. The Jews were both very superstitious and very uneven as to the sanctification of the sabbaths: superstitious, because they would not do many things which by God’s law they might do, such as applying means to heal the sick, defending themselves against enemies, &c. Uneven, because they would do divers things of equal bodily labour with those things which they pretend to scruple, one of which we shall hear our Saviour by and by instancing in. This ruler studied to defame him before the people. His pretence was, this was a work, and such a work as might be done in the six days. Let us hear how our Saviour defends himself.

And the ruler of the synagogue,.... For there never was but one in a synagogue, whatever some writers have observed to the contrary; See Gill on Matthew 9:18 the Ethiopic version reads, "the chief priests", but wrongly; these dwelt at Jerusalem, and in Galilee:

answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day; his indignation was at Christ, and the miracle he had wrought, being filled with envy at the honour it would bring unto him; though he covered it under pretence of its being a violation of the sabbath, and that it ought not to have been done on such a day, and in such a place, which were appropriated not to servile works, but to religious worship;

and said unto the people; over whom he had an authority, and who stood in awe of him, because of his office and dignity; and not daring to attack Christ himself, at least not directly, though he struck at him through the people, whose doctrine and miracles were so extraordinary.

There are six days which men ought to work, in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day; referring to the fourth command: but this observation and reproof were impertinent and needless, for the people did not come to be healed; for ought appears, the cure was unthought of and unexpected; nor was healing, especially as performed by Christ, by a word and a touch, a servile work, and therefore could not be any breach of the law referred to. The Ethiopic version reads, "is there not a sixth day?----come on that day"; the day before the sabbath.

{4} And the {f} ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.

(4) A graphic image of hypocrisy, and the reward of it.

(f) One of the rulers of the synagogue, for it appears that there were many rulers of the synagogue, see Mr 5:22 Ac 13:15.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Luke 13:14. But religious propriety in the person of the ruler of the synagogue is once more shocked: it is a Sabbath cure.—ἔλεγε τῷ ὄχλῳ: He spoke to the audience at Jesus—plausibly enough; yet, as so often in cases of religious zeal, from mixed motives. Christ’s power and the woman’s praise annoyed him.

14. ruler of the synagogue] See Luke 8:41.

with indignation
] The same strong word—implying a personal resentment—is used in Matthew 20:24; Matthew 26:8.

on the sabbath day] See on Luke 6:2.

in which men ought to work
] Exodus 20:9.

in them therefore come and be healed
] As though the reception of divine grace were Sabbath-breaking toil! Few remarks of the opponents of our Lord were so transparently illogical and hypocritical as this. It was meanly indirect because it was aimed at Jesus, though the man is too much in awe to address it to Him, and the implied notion that it was a crime to allow oneself to be healed on the Sabbath day springs from an abyss of Pharisaic falsity which could hardly have been conceived. It was the underhand ignorance and insolence, as well as the gross insincerity of the remark, which called forth a reproof exceptionally severe.

Luke 13:14. Τῷ ὄχλῳ, to the multitude) But all the while he obliquely aimed at Jesus. [For doubtless the benefit of the healing came to the woman without her expecting it.—V. g.]—ἕξ, six) quite many enough.

Verse 14. - And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day. The people, as usual, were stirred to enthusiasm by this glorious act of power and mercy. Afraid, before the congregation of the synagogue, to attack the Master personally, the "ruler," no doubt influenced by members of the Pharisee party who were present, at. tempted to represent the great Physician as a deliberate scorner of the sacred Law. The sabbath regulations at this time were excessively burdensome and childishly rigorous. The Law, as expounded in the schools of the rabbis, allowed physicians to act in cases of emergency, but not in chronic diseases such as this. How deep an interest must such a memory of the Master's as this sabbath day's healing have had for that beloved physician who has given his name to these memoirs we call the Third Gospel! Often in later years, in Syrian Antioch, in the great cities of Italy and Greece, would he, as he plied his blessed craft among the sick on the sabbath day, be attacked by rigid Jews as one who profaned the day. To such would he relate this incident, and draw his lessons of mercy and of love. Luke 13:14
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