Updated on January 31, 2013
Jesus Heals A Bent Over Woman – Luke 13
This last week I was working on some content for Luke 13. This is the story of Jesus healing the woman that was bowed by Satan. If you are not familiar with the miracle, you can read the entire story here: Woman, Thou Art Loosed from Thine Infirmity! Or learn more about the subject here: Healing The Woman Bowed By Satan.
The story starts with Jesus teaching in the synagogue one Sabbath day. He encounters a woman that has been bent over for 18 years. We learn later that there was a spirit of infirmity – a spiritual root behind the physical ailment. This is not uncommon since Satan is the ultimate source of all sin, sickness, death and evil in the world.
Jesus tells her that she is, “Free from that infirmity!” And then he places his hands on her and she is immediately made straight.
Then of course the people erupt in praise to God for this tremendous miracle that they had just witnessed. But not everybody was happy. The religious leader was a little irritated that Jesus healed someone on the Sabbath. You see, they had rules that you weren’t supposed to work on that day and he considered healing to be work.
Jesus pointed out the hypocrisy by telling the ruler that he routinely fed and watered his animals on the Sabbath, but was against showing mercy to God’s children. This of course shamed the ruler. We don’t hear anything else from him, so hopefully he got the message. God is love. He wants His kids healthy, happy and whole so they can be His body and messenger on this planet.
I think it is wonderful that Jesus didn’t care about religion, religious tradition or other man-made nonsense. All he cared about was getting this woman healed. He could have waited another day and they could not have said a word. But Jesus said, “This is a daughter of Abraham. She shouldn’t have to wait one more day!”
We shouldn’t have to wait either. Jesus came to set us free, redeeming us from the entire curse: sin, sickness, poverty and death. Praise God!
A Harrison Tangent: As I was searching for sites that had good content on this miracle story, I came across one that suggested an object lesson for kids. The idea was to get a shiny fresh apple and cut a hole in one side and let it sit out and oxidize overnight (turning an ugly brown color). This was to demonstrate to kids that God sees how rotten we are inside (my interpretation of how many children would understand the message).
Now this might be a good idea if you were teaching unbelieving children (although that is certainly debatable). This is exactly the WRONG message for Believers. When we are Born Again, it is a spiritual rebirth that cleanses us from ALL unrighteousness. God sees us as His perfect children after we accept Jesus into our life. That spiritual rebirth is forever. If we sin, we break off fellowship with God. But we simply repent and fellowship is restored.
To a youngster or new Believer, this is potentially a stumbling block to understanding righteousness, or right-standing with God. Our perfection or righteousness is based solely on what Jesus has done for us. We are righteous by faith. THAT is what we need to focus on and not what we were before. The old self is crucified with Jesus. We are now a NEW creation with the Holy Spirt living inside. How could God dwell in you if you were rotten inside?
My intent is not to criticize. I’m sure whoever wrote the lesson meant well. But young minds are very impressionable and an image of a rotten apple may lead to a life filled with unworthiness, low self-esteem, or an unhealthy fear of God. We need to show and tell people how much God loves them and what a great gift Salvation can be!
And just so you know I’m not just rambling, here are a few verses to meditate on regarding this subject.
What joy it is that my rebellion is forgiven and my sin removed from sight. The Lord has cleared my record of sin! All my guilt is gone! (Psalm 32:1-2)
God forgives all my sins and heals my diseases. He surrounds me with love. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s! He has removed my rebellious acts as far away as the east is from the west. (Psalm 103:3-4, 12)
(God speaking to you) No matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can remove it. Even if you were stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)
That was Old Testament prophets looking forward to true redemption. The sacrifices under the old covenant merely covered their sins and did not remove the sinful nature – they were still spiritually dead people.
But notice the language change after resurrection:
But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (Romans 3:21-22 <NLT>)
Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (Romans 6:5-11 <NLT>)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. For the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you through Christ Jesus from the power of sin that leads to death. (Romans 8:1-2 <NLT>)
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:17, 20-21)
You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins. He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross. In this way, he disarmed the spiritual rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by his victory over them on the cross. (Colossians 2:13-15 <NLT>)
He (Jesus) personally carried away our sins in his own body on the cross so we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. You have been healed by his wounds. (1 Peter 2:24 <NLT>)
Study the Word and make sure no bad apples ruin your day.
God Bless You!