Thursday, July 21, 2005

Vernon Easterhare Declares: 7/19/05, wee a.m.

Thoughts on Luke 13:12-17, 'Jesus Looses the Woman with Severe Osteoporosis.'

We have been sauntering through Luke in Adult Sunday School Class at Jeff Street since Christmas last, and coupled with scholarly exegesis have been quite 21st-century eisegetic asides thrown into the discussion. These do tend to enrich not impoverish our Sunday School dialogues.

Perhaps with this qualifying preceding paragraph I can cut away much of the point of this pericope in Luke, which is a healing story to justify therapeutic work on Shabbat, the Sabbath day.

We read that Jesus finds this woman in the synagogue on Shabbat: she is "bent over and unable to stand up straight." Today we would simply call this osteoporosis, a disease sympathetic to women since in great numbers they are subject to this condition. This very condition has always-- if I as a man-thing may be so presumptous as to say-- appeared to be a cause for women.

What I want to do is wax somewhat eisegetic-- deliberately read a little beyond the 1st century context-- into the world of things alive today. Like feminism. Like rights for the disabled. Like rights for all down-trodden folks.

Specifically, this is what I refer-to: in Luke 13:12 NRSV, Jesus is reported to have said,"Woman, you are set free from your ailment!" Now this quiteas readily could have been translated "Woman, you have been untied/loosed/freed from your WEAKNESS!"

I like to think that a disabled woman as an oppressed person gets untied from weakness; I like this because she NO LONGER HAS TO WORRY ABOUT HAVING TO FEEL OPPRESSED and because she NO LONGER HAS TO WORRY ABOUT BEING DISABLED and NO LONGER HAS TO WORRY-- FIRST AND FOREMOST-- ABOUT BEING A WOMAN-- AND A VERY FINE WOMAN AT THAT!

I hope the women can forgive my mouthing these words to pen about Jesus freeing the 'osteo' woman from feeling weak. I just hope-- in my own disability-- that I can feel freed from weakness by the power of Jesus!


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