Luke 13:10-17 – On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
The first thing we should notice in this account is that Jesus was spending His Sabbath in the synagogue. We should all make it our priority to attend the Lord’s House on the Lord’s Day! If we are able, we should not forsake the assembly (Hebrews10:25), this is God’s Word to us. The second thing worthy of note is that, while He was in the synagogue, He was teaching! On this occasion, we will note that He taught with both words and deed. This should be the norm at the Lord’s House – teaching eternal truths and putting them into practice by doing good – especially within the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). The third thing we can notice is that “a woman was there who had been crippled… for eighteen years.” She probably had a legitimate excuse to stay home, but did not allow her infirmity to keep her from worship and instruction at the House of the Lord. “She was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” One can only imagine the painful condition that she had endured these many years and the effort it must have taken her to get to the synagogue each Sabbath. She stands as an inspiration to all of us!
The fourth thing we see is that “Jesus saw her.” He takes notice of all souls, but especially of those who love God so supremely that not even a crippling spirit can keep them away from His House! I would say here that the Church is the right place for those who cannot “straighten up” on their own! Wouldn’t that be all of us? The Lord knows the crippling conditions we bring with us when we come to the house of worship. Fifthly, Jesus singled her out, called her forward and spoke to her need, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” This is one of those rare occasions in the Gospels when Jesus initiates a ministry of compassionate healing. More often, people are coming to Him requesting to be healed. This woman was not looking for Jesus to provide any service to her. It seems obvious that she was there to honor God, no matter what her physical condition. Sixthly, the Gospel says that Jesus put His hands on her and, “immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Eighteen years she had endured a painful crooked back, and now, all of a sudden, she is set free from her infirmity and her back is straightened. Her immediate response is to praise God, which, I suspect that she would have been doing anyway!
The seventh thing that stands out is that the Synagogue Ruler was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. He represents those religious leaders that are so caught up with rules and traditions that the Word of God is of no practical value. Jesus calls them “hypocrites” and points out that they would think nothing of untying their donkey or ox to lead it to water on the Sabbath. Yet, they are distressed because, on the Sabbath, Jesus released a woman from an infirmity that had bound her for eighteen long years! They had more regard for animals than they did for needy souls. I pray that each one may find the House of the Lord to be a place where they can come just as they are, and discover the healing grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to make straight that which sin and evil has made crooked!
Thursday: Meet together with at least 1 or 2 other believers to enter the Throne Room of Grace.
Friday: Pray for the families of the week: Pete & Laurel George (Annabeth, Luke, Josiah, ?), Pastor Dave & Cindy George, Allen Grandin (Junior).
Saturday: Pray for those who will be teaching and preaching in churches this Lord’s Day.
Sunday: Attend the House of Worship, ready to receive God’s Word and put it into practice.
Monday: Give thanks that God knows all the things that need straightening out in your life.
Tuesday: Ask God to give you a passion for souls that need God’s healing grace!
Wednesday: Don’t be guilty of caring more about animals than you do about people!
Prayer Challenge – Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. – James 5:13-16