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VIDEO: Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman | Messages of Christ

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Jesus Heals a Crippled Woman – powered by Happy Scribe

The story of Jesus healing the crippled woman teaches us a powerful lesson about freedom from bondage. Just as the woman’s deformed back was healed after long suffering, so too can we be lifted up and freed from our own captivity by the healing touch of our loving Savior. As Jesus is teaching on the Sabbath and a synagogue, a woman who is severely hunched over catches his eye. She has suffered for 18 long years in this debilitating state as one who is bent over and unable to lift herself up. She not only would have been literally looked down upon by others, but most likely figuratively as well.

Anciently people often saw infirmities as a result of God’s disapproval because of sin or unworthiness. Luke states that the woman suffered from a spirit of infirmity which could point to some sort of mental or spiritual struggle as well. Perhaps this also meant she felt shame or depression because of her imperfect body. Fortunately, there is one in the crowded synagogue who does not look down upon the crippled woman. Jesus sees her among the people and calls her to him.

Bravely, she pushes past those who stand straight and tall, and with her imperfect body comes to Christ. He then reaches out his hand to touch her. Jewish men did not customarily touch women they were not related to, fearing it could make them ritually unclean. Nevertheless, he lays his hand upon her and says, woman, thou art loosed from thine. Infirmity the original Greek word here.

For loosed means to be released or liberated immediately. For the first time in almost two decades, she is able to rise and stand straight. The Jewish leaders were not impressed and immediately began to criticize Jesus for performing this miracle on the Sabbath. While Jesus had not broken the law, he had broken down what was known as the Oral law. For years, the leadership had built a barrier, or a fence, so to speak, around the laws of God with a series of cultural traditions or rules to prevent one from breaking any commandments.

As these Harris became more and more restrictive, it distanced the people from the true purpose of the law, hiding it from their view. Jesus exposes the hypocrisy of these supposed laws by pointing out that the true purpose of the Sabbath has been lost. This holy day is set aside for the Lord’s work. It is a day to commemorate the creation, for remembering the deliverance from slavery in Egypt and to praise God. On this day, the woman has come to be refreshed spiritually, as have all the others.

What better day to heal this woman than on the Sabbath day? Jesus declares you hypocrites. Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? If even the Jews can give water to their animals on the Sabbath, when better for this woman to drink of the living water and to be healed. How fitting that once healed, she glorifies the Lord.

For it is especially on this day we are to pay our devotions unto the Most High. When studying the Scriptures, we gain a better understanding of a story by looking at its context. With this in mind, let’s consider what Jesus taught immediately before and after his miraculous healing of this woman, as it will add greater insights to these events. Before the story of the healing, Jesus was telling the people at the synagogue the story of when the Tower of Siloam had collapsed, crushing 18 people, the same number of years this woman had suffered. Just as these people were killed through no fault of their own, so too had this woman done nothing wrong to suffer this infirmity.

By connecting these two stories, we can learn that even bad things can happen to good people. After the woman is healed and able to stand straight once again, jesus does something remarkable. He calls her by a name that only appears once in the Bible daughter of Abraham. The Jews saw Abraham as the greatest of the patriarchs and that the promised blessings came through him because of his and Sarah’s faithfulness. Jesus makes sure that those at the synagogue that day understand that despite how they might see her, the Lord sees her true worth and divinity.

Later in the chapter, Jesus shares two short parables, one of the mustard seed and one of the leavened bread. He explains that even the tiniest of seeds can grow into a tree. Even a little bit of leaven or yeast, when added to flour, will permeate the dough, producing large loaves of bread. He possibly shares these parables to help the people see the great importance of this woman and each of us as a child of God. Perhaps after years of seeing her bent over, others could not imagine the good this woman could do.

However, in her is a seed, albeit small, that contains what Peter calls her divine nature. No one should discount the divine potential of this small woman. This woman had spent 18 years looking down. Her myoptic or limited view would have been focused on the rocks, dirt and the ground below her feet. Now her field of vision has broadened, and she can look directly into another’s eyes.

Now others can see the light of Christ in her eyes and that she has always had the ability to bless those around her, despite her difficulties. In the challenging world we live in today, we can feel like we are in bondage, crippled with feelings of unworthiness grief, depression and anxiety. We might not see our own self worth or feel we can lift ourselves up. We might compare our bodies given to us by God to what the world tells us perfection should look like. It can be easy to just focus on the ground below us, failing to see the blue, majestic skies above.

We might wonder if we are somehow unworthy or unloved by God when our own towers of siloam fall down, crushing us and holding us captive. But like this crippled woman, we too have the potential to be magnificent. We can stand tall knowing we are children of our Heavenly Father and partakers of the covenant of Abraham. Jesus always sees our true divinity, no matter where we may be focusing our gaze with so much demanding our time and attention, god has given us one day each week, the Sabbath day, to focus on Him and do his work. He is beckoning us to come to Him so that our spirits can be lifted up and we can be refreshed and made whole.

He wants us to be free from what binds us. And then, like this woman, healed by the Master’s touch, we too can praise and glorify the name of our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ.

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