October 24, 2016
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
The things of this world enslave us, but Jesus longs to loosen our chains and lead us to freedom. At the moment we open our hearts and allow Him to enter, at the very moment when we recognize our bondage and desire true freedom, He comes without delay. He rushes into our hearts to unbind us from the chains of sin and death.
Jesus cures the crippled woman on the sabbath. He doesn't wait until the next day—He can't wait another moment to set her free. When the crowd objects, He calls them hypocrites, pointing out that they untie their animals on the sabbath day but do not approve of Him healing their long-suffering sister, who is bound with far heavier chains.
Whatever patterns of sin we are experiencing, whatever feelings of inadequacy or fearfulness are holding us back, Jesus is eagerly waiting to set us free. He is waiting for the moment when we acknowledge our need for Him, so that He can come in and help us live more fully. He is able to give us a peace that transcends our circumstances, so that even in suffering, we will no longer bend over and cower but instead stand tall, singing praise and thanksgiving to our God in every moment.