The Gospel of Luke: a commentary & meditation 
"Woman, you are freed from your infirmity"

Scripture:  Luke 13:10-17

10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your infirmity." 13 And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day." 15 Then the Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger, and lead it away  to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?" 17 As he said this, all his adversaries were put to shame; and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

Meditation: Is there anything that keeps you bound up or oppressed? Infirmity, whether physical or spiritual, can befall us for a variety of reasons and God can use it for some purpose that we do not understand.  When Jesus encountered an elderly woman who was spent of her strength and unable to stand upright, he gave her words of faith and freedom and restored her to health.  She must have suffered much, both physically and spiritually for eighteen years, since Jesus remarked that Satan had bound her.  How can Satan do this?  The scriptures indicate that Satan can act in the world with malice and can cause injuries -- of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature. Satan's power, however, is not infinite.  He cannot prevent the building up of God's kingdom or reign in our lives. Jesus demonstrates the power of God's kingdom in releasing those captive in bondage to Satan, sickness, and sin. It took only one word from Jesus to release this woman instantly of her infirmity.  Do you believe in the power of Jesus to release you from affliction or oppression? The Jewish leaders were indignant that Jesus would perform such a work on the Sabbath, the day of rest.  They were so caught up in their ritual observance of the Sabbath that they lost sight of God's mercy. Jesus healed on the Sabbath because God does not rest from showing his mercy and love, ever. God's word has power to change us, spiritually and physically.  Is there anything that keeps you bound up or that weighs you down? Let the Lord speak his word to you and give you freedom.

"Lord, you grant freedom to those who trust in you. Give me freedom to walk in your way of love and to praise and worship you always.   Show me how I can bring your mercy and healing love to those in need around me."

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 (c) 1999 Don Schwager