Two Sabbath incidents have already been presented (6:1-11). The Sabbath cure is inserted here as an example of the hypocritical blindness Jesus has been describing (12:54-57). The synagogue official cannot see what is happening right before his eyes—the inbreaking of the kingdom in the freeing of this crippled woman from eighteen years of suffering. He has become too blinded by the letter of the law to recognize its spirit. The Pharisees allowed animals to be taken care of on the Sabbath (see 14:5); why begrudge this woman an extraordinary gift of God? The official’s reaction is predictable: rather than confront the miracle-worker, he vents his ire on the people. The action produces division; the judgment is already taking place. Certainly Jesus could have waited until the Sabbath was over. The woman’s ailment was not life-threatening. She had coped with it for 18 years. Jesus healed her on the Sabbath to demonstrate how dependent we are on God for some things we cannot do for ourselves, like be born, heal ourselves, and most importantly save ourselves.