Luke 13:10-13 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. (11) And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. (12) And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. (13) And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
In our first post, we notice that her trouble was a Sustaining trouble. Today, we will look at another characteristic of her trouble, and what Jesus did about it
SHE FOUGHT SPIRITUAL TROUBLE
What’s often overlooked in this account is the fact that it was a spirit of infirmity. After the ruler of the synagogue complained about Jesus healing on the Sabbath, Jesus answers Him. In answering him, Jesus reveals to us in Luke 3:16 that this woman was bound by Satan. Just as in the case of Job, and even Paul, God allows Satan a certain measure of space to afflict people. Many of the unusual, unexplainable disease of our day might very well be explained the same.
The Bible tells us that Isaiah 55:9, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
So, we don’t know all the reasons why God permits this, but one of the reasons is that He sometimes uses these types of situations to show His power over Satan and His love for mankind. There are two truths I want to point out about spiritual infirmities:
First, spiritual infirmities affect our Mindset. Often times, these types of trials and tribulations affect our mindset and deform the way we think. We notice that this woman did not lay out of church, blame God, or even become bitter. When we become bitter at God – or even God’s messenger – it shows that we have allowed spiritual infirmities to affect the way we think.
As we are taken through dark valleys of spiritual trials and temptations, lets renew our mind and take on the mindset of Christ and persevere, realizing that God, in His timing, will take our present difficulties and turn them to His, and our, own good. Dr. Raymond Barber tells of a prayer that goes, “O Lord, help me to understand that you let nothing come into my way that You cannot handle.” (Don’t Look Now, But Your Religion Is Showing, pg 128)
Secondly, spiritual infirmities affect our Mood, or spirit. Often times, as Christians, we know the right words to say. But our attitude reveals a different, more realistic truth about us and our heart. “Even if your body is imprisoned, your spirit is free to fly away to God (Dr. Barber, pg 130).” No one wants to be around someone who is constantly cranky, critical, and complaining. These are characteristics that should NEVER be used to describe God’s children. If one of those characteristics fits you, then you need to seek the Lord for deliverance from these infirmities.
Finally, we notice that…
SHE FELT THE SAVIOUR’S TOUCH –
Just as she felt the physical hand of Jesus touch her; we all need to feel the spiritual touch of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We notice some characteristics of the Saviour’s touch.
First, it was a compassionate touch. Jesus did not ignore her, but He healed her the moment he saw her. Most people today will turn the other way, cross the road, etc. when they see a person in need. Many Christians today will not get involved in someone else’s life because it might be a little too messy. But praise God that our Lord and Saviour looks down from heaven with compassion on us today and is always in the right place at the right time to help us in our very present time of need.
She was unable to look up, so for all we know she did not even see Jesus there. But He saw and called out to her and that is all that matters. Aren’t you glad that one day when you had nowhere else to turn, nowhere else to look, that Jesus called out to?!
Secondly, it was a commanding touch. Jesus did what others could not do. No doubt this woman went to every doctor she could find for some help and some relief. She probably tried every medicine, and every type of physical therapy they had back then. But there are just certain problems that are too hard, too complex, for man to solve.
We would do good today to go to the Lord FIRST when difficulties arise, and not LAST. For most Christians, their motto is, “When all else fails, try Jesus.” That’s why so many who claim to be God’s children only darken a door when they are in need or going through difficulties. Again, when we are in the midst of difficult and trying trials we should turn to Jesus – but we should turn to Him first!
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:24, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” But if we are honest today, most treat Jesus like an acquaintance, and not a friend. If you do not believe so, then ask yourself who it is you turn to first when times are tough.
Jesus had a commanding touch because He had the authority to do what no one else could do.
We also notice that it was a controlling touch. No doubt this lady went to this synagogue week after week, offering prayers for her healing. Yet, it was this day that Jesus chose to come by, and this day that Jesus chose to heal her.
What we often fail to remember in the trials of life is that the Lord is always in control. Even when everything around us seems to be out of control, God is always in control. God answers prayer, in His timing. That is why we are commanded to have patience. Patience is the exercise of faith in times of trials and testing. We can exercise patience because we know that God is in control.
Finally, we notice that it was a complete touch. She was healed immediately and completely. If you checked in with her a couple days later, you wouldn’t see some hunched-over woman back in pain.
When God answers prayer – He answers prayer! What a great example for us of salvation. Faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for the payment of our sins COMPLETELY AND ETERNALLY saves us!
Let me close with this great illustration from Andrew Murray, a great pastor and author of old, who once faced a terrible crisis. Gathering himself into his study, he sat a long while quietly, prayerfully, thoughtfully. His mind flew at last to his Lord Jesus, and picking up his pen, he wrote these words in his journal:
- First, He brought me here; it is by His will that I am in this strait place: in that fact I will rest.
- Next, He will keep me here in His love, and give me grace to behave as His child.
- Then, He will make the trial a blessing, teaching me the lessons He intends me to learn, and working in me the grace He means to bestow.
- Last, in His good time He can bring me out again – how and when He knows
Stay faithful, stay positive, and trust in God in your times of trials and testing.