Look Up Child
Today I want to talk to you about a story which appears in Luke 13 and is repeated in Matthew 9.
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.
This is the story of a woman who was suffering with an infirmity. In Biblical days, it was religious practice to do nothing on a Sabbath day. God gave us the example of this when He rested on the seventh day after creating the world. I would encourage each and every one of you to rest if you haven’t in a long time.
But concerning this story, I want you to notice something.... Jesus heals on the Sabbath Day.
The passage speaks of Jesus in the synagogue and He sees a woman bent over with a spirit of infirmity. You might be asking yourself what is the significance of this?
Well, many of us may be upright in our body but internally we are bent over. Emotionally, things have happened, divorce, stress, loss and trauma may have happened. We all have stories and some of us can tell really sad stories, but ultimately we have to realise that looking down only leads us to more pain.
The woman in the passage is bent over, we have no idea what the infirmity was because we are not told. We simply notice that it is identified as a spirit.
This woman was bent over with a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. According to Jewish law, this woman would have been an outcast, a beggar. She would've been thrown out of her house and family because the sickness would have been something that would have prohibited her from participating in society.
Being bent over, you are focused on what is beneath you. So many of us can also find ourselves in a position where we are focused on what is beneath us.... all the negative stuff that has happened in your life over the years. It can be frustrating, disappointing and disheartening because you are looking at what has happened. Focussing in on one painful thing which then causes you to think of another and another, leaving you without hope for change.
Jesus walks in the synagogue, sees the woman, heals her and immediately she straightens up. After 18 years of looking down and being looked down upon, she is healed! What a wonderful moment for this woman. There was no hope for her and then Jesus came. In that moment, I'm sure He not only healed her body, but her spirit from all the years of feeling unwanted and cast away. Where there was disappointment, discouragement, pain and judgement, now... she was free.
There were many people watching what was happening. They saw the miracle and were challenged by who God is and what He will do. The religious or Pharisees, those in authority within the church, got upset with what Jesus had done because the rule was to rest and following the rules was the most important thing to the religious.
I want to encourage you. There may be people talking about you. Why is God blessing you? Why is He healing you? Why are you receiving restoration? And in their pain or false sense of righteousness, they can get as mad as anything with you. Do not pay attention to whatever their focus is. Your enemy would like nothing more than to steal the joy of the blessing God is giving you by taking your focus off the blessing and onto the accusation.
You keep your focus where it needs to be. Remember where and what God has taken you from and look at where He is taking you.
Whether you have been suffering one day, one week or like this woman, 18 years, there is hope and healing for you in Christ. We stand with you, trusting in His Word which promises healing for His children. And if you would like to become His child today, it's as easy as reaching out to Him. Look to Him for your healing in body, mind and spirit, healing from shame, forgiveness for sin and restoration to the Father in Heaven who loves you more than you will ever know or understand. He is there with you right now, ready and waiting....
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2