John Kilgallen, «The Obligation to Heal (Luke 13,10-17)», Vol. 82 (2001) 402-409
Luke 13,10-17 is often considered to be a parallel to Luke 14,1-6; further, Luke 13,10-17 is often separated, in the structuring of Luke’s Gospel, from Luke 13,1-9. In this essay, there is noted the crucial difference between the key words dei= (13,14.16) and e!cestin(14,3) for the interpretations (and differences) between these two Sabbath cures. Also this essay notes the inherent unity of the cure of the bent woman with the call to repentance that precedes it.
At stake, then, in this story of the bent woman is the relationship between the respect owed to God on the Sabbath and the respect owed to human beings. The lowly argument regarding treatment of animals is the stepping stone to making clear that charity on the Sabbath does not hinder proper worship of God on the Sabbath; the broad practice of the pious admits this in certain situations27 and so should all the more admit it in all situations.
The point of this essay, however, is not so much the argument about what justifies use of miraculous healing powers on the Sabbath, but the question about the motivation of Jesus’ healing when that is governed by the phrase ‘it is necessary’. Ultimately, the explanation of this acknowledged necessity is the obligation upon Jesus to love others28, and his gifts are put to use in accordance with that love29.
5. Luke 13,10-17 and Luke 13,1-9
The above explanation as to the significance of dei=, e!dei (Luke 13,14.16) and as to why Jesus cured the bent woman is strengthened by the verses that precede the story of the bent woman30; in other words, the story of the bent woman ‘fits’ into Luke’s concern at this point, the concern to teach repentance31.
Luke 13,1-532 are an account of Jesus’ response to tragedies that have recently occurred in Jerusalem, tragedies which were popularly understood