Woman, you are freed from your disability.
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.
The hardhearted callousness of religion and religious leaders prevails unto this day. Theologies and theologians who allow rules to trump grace and mercy must break the heart of God. It is hard to imagine how the religious ruler in this story could have criticized the Lord Jesus for doing something that only God could have enabled him to do. Sadly history is filled with such stories. Heavenly movements on earth have always been resisted by fleshly minded people.
Even so, it is impossible to minimize the glory of God as Jesus called to the disabled woman to come forward. What would it have been like to hear your name called by him? Can you imagine the joy that arose in her as she felt the healing touch of God? It reminds me of the day when the inner and outer eyes of my first wife, Ellen, were opened. It also reminds me that God is not too busy to notice the pain and suffering of his children.
Help me to be aware of those who are in pain today Lord.