Jesus Heals a Woman on the Sabbath Day

Luke 13:10–17

10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
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.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote:

“This particular healing is recorded in detail, not because of its miraculous nature, for many others equalled or surpassed it in this respect, but because it took place on the Sabbath day. See John 5:1–16. Out of the occurrences surrounding it we learn:

“(1) For 18 years the woman had been bound by Satan with ‘a spirit of infirmity,’ presumably meaning that some mental or spiritual affliction attended her physical illness. Though Satan may rejoice in the afflictions—whether physical, mental, or spiritual—which befall mortal men, it is not to be assumed that he has power to impose them, except in isolated instances where people have complied with laws which permit such an imposition; otherwise, Satan would shackle all men with ills so drastic as to destroy them.

“(2) Jesus appears to have sought out this woman and performed the miracle on His own initiate on the Sabbath to teach the principle that it is lawful to do good and work righteousness on that holy day.

“(3) Though it was not always His habit so to do, in this instance He performed the healing by the laying on of hands, a physical performance which helps faith increase in the hearts of afflicted persons.

“(4) Fake beliefs—as those relative to Sabbath observance lead to bigotry and place their adherents in a position where they deny and reject the pure mercies of God and become hypocrites.

“(5) Every soul is honorable and deserving of dignified respect in the eyes of Deity. This woman, though decrepit and infirm, though shackled with atrophied muscles and seemingly afflicted mentally and spiritually as well, was hailed by Jesus as a daughter of Abraham, a soul worthy of the blessings and mercies of Abraham’s God.”

(Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3 vols. [1965–73], 493–94.)