On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. Luke 13:10–13, NIV
One of the things I love most about Jesus is His boldness. He loves and heals fearlessly. In fact, you could argue that Jesus actually loved the Pharisees enough to challenge their legalism. It’s like He’s saying, “Come on, guys. Don’t you want to be set free from thinking you have to keep the rules to earn God’s favor?”
I imagine this woman, painfully twisted and bent, like an old tree, from arthritis or osteoporosis. And yet she is in the synagogue. She doesn’t let her handicaps keep her from worship. Still, she’s burdened, weighed down. Sometimes I feel like this woman—weighed down by life’s challenges, or other people’s expectations. I long for freedom, to stand up straight and just joyfully praise God. But no matter how hard I try, just like this woman, I can’t heal myself. I can’t manufacture joy and release. It only comes from the healing touch of Jesus.
When the woman stands, the first thing she sees are the eyes of Jesus. And the first thing she does is praise Him. What an example! Jesus later calls this woman “daughter.” Such affirmation brought her emotional and spiritual healing as well, I think.
FAITH STEP: Think of a specific situation in your life where you feel crippled. (Maybe in a relationship, in your job, or even in your church.) Today, let Jesus step into that situation. Allow Him to heal you, so that you can praise Him.
Contributed by Keri Wyatt Kent
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