If you’re bent over, all you can see is the dirty ground, the earth from which we came. It would be hard to lift your eyes and look up with hope if your view excludes the faces of people, the landscape, or the horizon. Even work would be mostly out of reach, not to mention community life and relationships, without the ability to look into the eyes of another person or reach forward with purpose. That’s how we meet one unnamed woman in the Gospels.
Bent over for eighteen years, the crippled woman of Luke 13:10-17 had been “kept bound” by Satan himself. Unable to even straighten up, she waited at a house of worship, a synagogue. When Jesus came to her synagogue on a Sabbath day and saw the woman’s condition, he set her on a path to change the course of her life.
Freedom from bondage
On that day, the woman long bound by Satan was unbound.
The Devil is a supplier of sickness, a developer of diseases, and an ambassador of affliction. He loved taking a woman made in the image of God and twisting her with an infirmity as a trophy of his bondage. But then Jesus saw her, called her forward, and said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus laid his hands on her and right away her gnarled spirit-bound body straightened up. Right away, she praised God, because that’s what a genuinely unbound woman does.
Staying in bondage
On that day, a religious ruler long bound by tradition stayed bound.
The Devil has planted the sickness of legalism in the hearts of the religious ruler and his friends. Though not visibly bent in body, their hearts were gnarled by their regard for rules. As quickly as the freed woman stood to her full height in praise, the synagogue ruler was overcome with indignation, blurting out rebuke to the Healer for healing on the Sabbath day. Instead of a declaration of worship, he responded by defending the same hollow tradition that was unable to free the woman during any of her bent up, eyes down, infirmity ridden eighteen years. Jesus rebuked him in return, allowing the crowd to hear His heart for setting captives free. Instead of lifting up His opponents as He had the crippled woman, “all his opponents were humiliated” (v.17b).
The Devil despises the image bearers of God, but Jesus came to “free captives”(Isaiah 42:6-7) from the bondage of the Enemy. Has the supplier of sickness, the developer of disease, the ambassador of affliction bent you down physically, spiritually, or emotionally? Do you feel like all you can see is the dirt of the road you walk? Are you finding it hard to lift up your eyes and see a hope-filled future?
Jesus sees you, calls you, and wants to free you from what the Enemy is using to bind you. What do your shackles look like? He is the true Bondage Breaker who can take a gnarled heart or twisted relationships or a downcast life and raise them up for His glory. Ask God to unbind you and help you walk in newness of life. Let yours be the next voice to praise Him, because that’s what a genuinely unbound woman does.
Has God given you freedom from bondage in your life? Leave a comment and share a praise.