10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. :11 And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” 13 When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. 14 But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.” 15 But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing. [NRSA]
One of the issues of this passage, that we see in the news today, is deflection. The story, the headline, should read, “Woman Set Free” but instead the headline reads, “Jesus Does Work on Sabbath”.
We live in a time that we need to pray for discernment about what is true, what is important, and what is Good vs evil. Just because it is on the web, on the news, on some official letterhead unfortunately, we are surrounded by what others want us to focus, even if it is not true, good, or the wholeness of God.
Jesus is focused on a person being set free and made whole. And the official voice is protecting the power structure of the day.
But this is not the most powerful part of this passage:
When the community should be celebrating the healing and life restoration of this woman the whole community must have known had struggled for decades, now is made whole!
This is a story of freedom.
Notice that Jesus calls a certain woman who was known to all in the community as the old woman with a bad back. For nearly two decades she had been suffering with the same aliment.
Can you picture this person? Back pain, sleepless nights and limited strength every day. Visits to many doctors, many treatments, and remedies attempted. Twenty years of struggle that had become accepted as “her way of life.”
Jesus calls this woman to come to him.
He declares that he wants to set her free from her ailment.
This gives us occasion to examine all that needs healing. There are multiple levels of healing at work. Jesus is not just making her physically well. His message was to set her free.
- Our bodies:
- Our minds:
- Our Souls.
We are typically good about sharing our physical needs and physical needs of one another. In our collective experience we each have stories of ailment and illnesses, suffering and struggles with our bodies. At first thought, we pray for each other to be made well or made physically whole, but we forget that we are more than physical bodes.
We are also feeling, sensing, and effected by our emotional needs. I am lonely, I am afraid, I am lost. I am confused. I am worn thin and filled with garbage, baggage, and trash. My heart is heavy and my mind is focused on the rules, the bills, the markers of our struggles.
When we are physically broken, there are also emotional factors of pain, sadness, loss, depression, grief, shame, fear, and more that ride along with our physical struggles. To be whole is to be not only physically mended, but also to address the psychological and emotional trauma we experience.
Out Stephens Ministry team is ready to walk with you in your journey is a personal and private way.
There numerous conditions that our emotional and psychological state impacts our physical reality. And the reverse is true.
The man who is blind, and the Blind man.
Often we begin to identify as that afflicted person and not as the individual human-child of God. When my identity is condition of my physical or emotional state I become captive of a condition and loose the person that I am.
We know someone who adopts the identity of being a victim rather than the person we are who has experiences some illness, events, or struggle. When we live as an objectified person we become trap or trap others by shifting the person for the condition.
Remember Jesus is about setting this woman free from her ailment, her condition, and the whole picture of her beyond her condition.
The most important factor in our wholeness, is addressing our spiritual wholeness and freedom. The doctor can patch us, the counselor can guide us to separating our emotions and experiences. But there are some folks who are spiritually free who never find physical or emotional wholeness, but have such a closeness to Jesus that they are able to find freedom to know joy, peace, fellowship, and meaning in life, even when the former things are unchanged.
- In this example Jesus speaks and invited freedom
- Second, Jesus touches this woman and her body, mind, and spirit are set free.
Her response is to Worship God.
Together we are seeking God’s will and purpose in our daily lives and for the sum of our lives.
We know Jesus has healed her physically, emotionally, and spiritually
We know that her condition was more than physical because Jesus connects her wholeness from the power of Satan, the power of evil.
- The context of our physical conditions,
- Our emotional states, and
- Our spiritual relationships
Require all three to be addressed to be truly free.
Why settle for satisfying the body when the heart, mind, and strength can all be well in unison.
ARE WE FREE?
This story of healing, wholeness, and FREEDOM is told for our benefit.
Lord heal my body
Lord heal my heart and mind
Lord heal my spirit.