“The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;” Psalm 146:8
As part of His mission on earth, Jesus taught in the Jewish synagogue on the Sabbath day each week. When He finished teaching that week, He saw a woman who “…was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all”. (Luke 13:11). He called the woman over. Because she was crippled, getting to Jesus was extremely painful for her, but she came anyway because faith was already at work in her heart. He said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity”. Luke 13:13. She immediately straightened up and began to praise God. Those who believed rejoiced with her. But the religious did not rejoice because they hated Jesus and they had no concern for the afflicted woman. They were powerless to help her even if they did care. Their default reaction was anger and condemnation.
Jesus called out their hypocrisy. He told them that they were in the habit of loosening their animals to water them on the Sabbath, and now they denied this woman her healing. He continued, “Should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” (Luke13:13). The radical love, compassion and excellent grace of Jesus broke through tradition and gave this woman her physical and spiritual freedom. (I wonder sometimes if they even cared about the Sabbath) Religion could only condemn. Jesus came to save.
The nameless woman was there at the synagogue according to her usual practice. We can liken it to going to church every Sunday today. She didn’t expect the Master Teacher to be her Healer, too, and that her eighteen years of bondage would suddenly end. He is the same today, yesterday, and forever, my friends. Believe today, right now, and be healed.
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon Me, for the Lord has anointed Me
to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released, and prisoners will be freed”. Isaiah 61:1