Jesus Saw Her and Called Her Forward

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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.

Luke 13: 10-13

Life is hard. Period. There are periods of ease, but the majority of life is just. Plain. Hard. Yeah, yeah, I know…you thought this was a blog to encourage you right? Well, it is, but let’s be honest.  I’m not going to wear my halo and put on my Christianese and claim all things bright and perfect over here in Jesus land! Not only would that be a lie, but also a great disservice to the very real and miraculous workings of Jesus in our hard lives.

Jesus steps into our sufferings. He is not afraid of the hard stuff we face. He is not afraid to love hard on those who may be ugly, disorganized…human! He sees the infirmities, failures, and hardships and longs to touch and heal us. He is in the midst of us.

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. Luke 13: 12-13

Teaching in the synagogue, Jesus saw this crippled women. His love and compassion for her interrupted the business of the day, and he called her forth. Bent over, she hobbled forward from the far back where women would have been relegated. All eyes watching, possibly judging, she came forward. Having only seen the ground, the dirt, and filth of daily life, she must have been desperate for healing. Jesus reached out to her and touched her. His touch set her free.

After having been bowed low for so long, the first face this woman saw was Jesus Christ! What an indescribable gift for the suffering! To be seen, touched, and healed…

As we read in verse 16, Satan had kept this woman bound for eighteen years. Such a very long time. How many times must she have wondered if God saw her or loved her or heard her?  And still she showed up to church! The bound woman knew where to go for healing.

What excuses do we have for missing church or getting in the Word or not getting involved? Have we justified these things because we’ve been hurt or wounded by others who should know better? Lay it down, my friend…walk in forgiveness.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. John 13: 34

Jesus sets us free. Freedom to love, to worship, to follow, to lay our lives down for others. We are not granted freedom to indulge again in the vast pool of sin and self. Our freedom should always reflect our liberator, Jesus Christ.

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. Galatians 5:13

This bound woman knew where to go for healing. Do we know where to go for our healing? Do we risk ridicule, judgment, and scorn to be with the One who bore our sin and shame? Do we come forward before the business of our day and surrender our lives to Him? Do we allow Him to interrupt us?

May we, like this woman, straighten up, and look into the face of Christ and praise God!

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