“But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation…”
– Luke 13:14
This administrator of the synagogue was charged with the supervision of all matters of its services. He was the one responsible for choosing the men who would read the Scriptures and expound upon them. This man had authority and power to reprimand, excommunicate, and even order a scourging upon its members. This was someone you would not want to offend or cause to be upset. Yet here we find the ruler of this synagogue angry with our Lord Jesus.
What did Jesus do that caused this person so much anger? What was the so-called “treasons” He performed that caused this ruler to cry out to the congregation, drawing their attention away from the Savior? It was, as Jesus Himself called them, “the traditions of men.”
From the time of their return from Babylonian captivity, leading Rabbi’s gave their own interpretations of the law. The traditions that began as a guard to protect the sanctity of the law (The Torah) became law itself. As a result, over six hundred traditions (The Mishnah) were introduced, all during the time of “God’s silence.” It is important to remember that whenever God is silent, we should never speak in His place.
Jesus healed a woman in need on a day that religion and traditions said He could not. In this case of healing, a human need was placed over man-made tradition, and Jesus was rebuked for it. And, if we are not careful, we can be blamed for doing the same thing.
The Bible tells us not to “forsake the assembling of the saints,” and yet due to circumstances we have fallen into that we are to count all joy, we are unable to gather together physically. However, technology has so advanced that we can still see and hear each other through other means. Through these avenues, many that have been opposed to attending Church in a building are hearing of Jesus. The Church has been forced, in a way, to get out of the pews and back into “uttermost parts!”
Could it be that once again, human need is being met over the traditions of men? Let us not be discouraged that we cannot gather physically with like-minded believers healed of sin, but overjoyed that our churches are reaching out to those who are still in need! The woman bent over and crooked was made straight, and Christ still wants to heal in that fashion!
“If you are morally crooked, and you have tried to straighten yourself and have not been able to do so, I plead with you; come to Jesus; look to Him; confess your failure and your sin to Him, and you will find that He is able to make you straight.”
– H. A. Ironside