Thursday, December 31, 2015

Women in the Life of Jesus: The Woman with the Spirit of Infirmity

Scriptures where she can be found:  Luke 13

Setting:  A synagogue in Jerusalem

Her story: 

Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath.  And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.”  And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.

 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”

 The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?  So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”  And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.   -Luke 13:10-17

Jesus was in the synagogue teaching on the Sabbath again.  There was a woman there who had been bent over and could not straighten up for 18 years.

18 years.  That is a long time. 

The Bible says "a spirit of infirmity" was the cause.   I looked up the Greek words for "spirit" and "infirmity."  The word for spirit was the word "pneuma," which is the same word used for Holy Spirit.  We know that it was not the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit was active in setting her free from the infirmity.

The word "infirmity" in the Greek is "astheneia."  Helps Word Studies says this word refers to a "weakness" or "sickness" and deprives someone of enjoying or accomplishing what they would like to do.  This word is found 24 other times in the New Testament.

When Jesus saw her, he called her forward, and said to her,

Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.

Then He put his hands on her, and she straightened up.  She was standing up straight and praising God.  For the first time in 18 years, she would be able to talk to someone face to face.  She wouldn't run into things.  She would be able to look at the clouds and the sea.  

And then somebody complained.  What?

Jesus just healed someone.  And on the Sabbath.  Because the religious leaders didn't understand who He was, they repeatedly found fault with Him, even though He was giving life in every imaginable way to people.  

He repeatedly healed people on the Sabbath.  I think He did that on purpose to challenge them, to make them think.  He was Lord of everything, including the Sabbath.  

Jesus did not tell her to repent or make her do anything.  He just healed her. 

He is the Lord.
He is the Healer.
That is who He is, and what He does.

In this passage of scripture, we see that word "immediately" again.  That word in the Greek means, "instantly," or at "at once."  The woman did not have to wait for her miracle.  It came to her immediately.

And why?  Because Jesus saw her.  Because she was a Daughter of Abraham.  Because she was sick.

All throughout scripture God has been healing the sick.  We see it in the Old Testament and in the New.  Healing is still available to us today.  For everyone who believes.

Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.

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