This week we see Jesus break the rules of the Sabbath in order to heal a woman who has been suffering from a physical ailment for 18 years. Even more than that, though, the act of healing the woman on the sabbath prompts a dialogue with the leader of the synagogue where Jesus questions the very rules that he has broken:
Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?
In challenging these rules against doing work (including healing) on the Sabbath, Jesus asks those gathered to assess who and what they are prioritizing. How can we prioritize the wellness of our animals on the sabbath and yet not prioritize the wellness of the very people with whom we are in community? At an even more basic level, Jesus is asking, why are we prioritizing rules over the wellness of people? For those gathered there on that day, and for those of us reflecting on the gospel this week, Jesus asks us to reassess our priorities.
This week, pay attention to what you are prioritizing over other people, our relationships with them, and even their wellness. These things can be material, like the animals in Jesus' metaphor, or more conceptual, like the Sabbath rules. Is it money, or physical resources, that we are prioritizing in our lives? Or maybe the need to be right, or a certain theology or ideology? What would look like to reprioritize people in every facet of life? Take some time to share your thoughts as a group.