HOST: Ron House
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
This text is primarily about the controversy of Jesus healing on the Sabbath, but I would like to think about a different aspect of this story for a moment. Put yourself in the shoes of the woman whom Jesus heals. For eighteen years, she had been afflicted with this “disabling spirit.” She was bent over, unable to straighten her body. Her condition was probably painful and no doubt debilitating. But despite her physical condition, she had come to the synagogue on the Sabbath for worship. She obviously had a love for God that was greater than her pain. What a marvelous example of devotion to God she presents to us. She had not come to the synagogue looking for healing and did not ask Jesus for His help. Yet Jesus, in His compassion and love, saw her and healed her. She had come to give God her worship and instead received God’s healing touch. Just imagine the relief and joy that she must have felt, knowing that her life had been changed by this brief encounter with the Great Physician.
What lessons can we learn from this text?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!