Pearls of the Word

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He released the Sabbath

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"Because of this, the Jews sought even more to have Him put to death, not only because he violated [luo] the sabbath, but because he called God his own father, making himself equal with God" (John 5:18 Interlinear).

The Greek word luo means to release, to detach, to raise up what was bound, to disengage from obligations. Because he had cured a sick man on the Sabbath, the Pharisees accused Jesus of having violated the Sabbath. But Jesus saw these things otherwise; he thought that it was they who bound heavy burdens on men with their Tradition (Matthew 23:4).

By deliberately curing a paralytic on the Sabbath, Jesus publicly released the burden with which the Pharisees had weighed the people down; he thereby placed himself above the Sanhedrin. The Pharisees who believed themselves to be the authority established by God, where shocked when Jesus told them that it was He who thus performed God’s work.