Ephesians 4:32–5:8; Psalm 1:1-4, 6;Luke 13:10-17
“When Jesus saw her, he called to her.” (Luke 13:12)
It’s a safe bet that people never fell into a pious coma as they listened to Jesus teach and preach. Whether he left them enraged, amazed, or engaged, he always got their attention. And so all eyes were riveted on him as he taught in the synagogue on that Sabbath day.
Well, not quite all. One pair of eyes was glued to the ground.
They belonged to a woman who was severely disabled, her spine bent into the shape of a shepherd’s crook. She was, quite literally, a lowly person who commanded no attention. Having seen her bent over for eighteen years, people took it for granted. And since, at the time, affliction was often viewed as a divine punishment for sin, this woman commanded even less respect. So it must have come as a huge shock when Jesus singled her out, healed her, and affirmed her dignity as a “daughter of Abraham” worthy of God’s intervention (Luke 13:16).
Our world is full of people like this bent woman. Some are struggling silently with a long-term illness or disability that has isolated them. Some are bowed down by grief or hopelessness. For others, it’s fear, a past hurt, or an unrepented sin that keeps them down. Perhaps you know someone like this, someone who needs to hear Jesus call to them as he called to that hunched, overlooked woman in the synagogue. Listen prayerfully for a moment, and if anyone comes to mind, ask the Holy Spirit if there’s something you can do. Is there a practical service, a gentle prayer, or a word of encouragement you can offer? Can you be a messenger of hope and healing to that person?
While you’re at it, know that Jesus wants to raise you up, too! Because even the holiest and healthiest among us are works in progress. We all have issues in our lives that still need healing and liberation. If you can identify any areas that need a little more work, bring them to Jesus right now. If not, just come into his presence, knowing that he is fully able to search out and straighten whatever needs to be unbent.
“Jesus, you came ‘to proclaim liberty to captives’ and ‘to let the oppressed go free’ (Luke 4:18). Show me your freedom, Lord, and help me share it with others.” ~WAU