7679 - Stand Straight

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We pray God will give us discernment that we may understand how His statutes apply to our lives.

In today’s study we see Jesus releasing a woman from physical infirmity, which was caused by an evil spirit. Jesus caused her to stand straight.
Listen to Luke 13:10-17:

10On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11and 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. 12When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." 13Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.

14Indignant 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."

15The 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? 16Then 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?"

17When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.

Notice, this event occurred in a synagogue. The synagogue was the hub of life for Jewish people in every city where at least ten Jewish males resided.

Jesus often taught in the synagogues when he visited a city or town. This day he was teaching and he noticed a woman who was disfigured by being unable to stand straight. For eighteen years she was encumbered by having to remain bent over all the time. The cause of this malady was an evil spirit, an agent of Satan. Just think, for eighteen years this woman had lived with ‘evil’ indwelling her. Most likely she had searched and searched for the remedy to her malady. Today she came face to face with Jesus, the Son of God, who had authority over the spirit world. Without realizing it she had found the One who could cleanse her and release her from the power of Satan’s forces.

Notice, Jesus did not ask her any questions. Jesus knew all about her because the Father had informed him of the situation.

Jesus called her to him and said: “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity”; then he touched her and the transaction was complete. For the first time in eighteen years this woman was able to stand straight, and she was released from the power of the evil spirit.

She must have instantly felt a new purity and cleanliness spreading through her being. N o wonder she immediately began to praise God.

There’s a sad note in this account. The synagogue ruler immediately instructed the people that such ministry of healing and releasing people from Satan’s power was not a tolerated function on the Sabbath. He referred to this as work and that was to be carried out during the six week days.

Jesus quickly challenged this attitude. He called the ruler a hypocrite. That’s appropriate for people and ministry which is meant to set people free from sin, as was the purpose of the synagogue; but, who refuse to diligently seek to carry out the function at every opportunity.

Jesus reasoned with the ruler. You have animals which need a drink of water each day to survive, and you provide for their minor needs even on the Sabbath. Is not a needy human being more important than your donkey or ox? Of course they are, many times over! Then rather than being gruff and confrontive on this day, should you not be happy and joyful in seeing this woman released from Satan’s hold after eighteen years? Shouldn’t we all be praising God whose power brought this about?

This religious ruler gave no recognition to Jesus who had brought this miracle to pass. Rather, he was unhappy and focused on the legalistic traditions which burdened the Jewish people. He was missing the value of this encounter with the Messiah for whom the Jewish people were looking. He was missing the benefit of the greatest encounter of his lifetime.