Devotional Day 5
Be Interruptable – The Crippled Woman – Luke 13:10-17
“When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’” – Luke 13:12
A few winters back, my husband, kids, and I visited Texas. My mom, stepdad, and my sister’s family live there and we couldn’t wait to be together.
My sister had a brilliant plan. While we were all gathered, we should have pictures taken together. She hired a fantastic photographer, we all got dolled up, and we headed to the studio. But this particular photographer specializes in outdoor photography; there are numerous architecturally interesting buildings and beautiful foliage in the area, so she makes the most of it for her clients.
Did I mention it was winter?
We got individual photos, we got photos with the cousins, we got sister snapshots…but what we really got was cold. It was a chilly day. The longer the photo shoot lasted, the colder it seemed to get. We all started getting a bit cranky, but tried to make the most of it. When it was over, we thanked the photographer and had a bonding experience with the heaters in our cars.
Weeks later, we got the proofs from the photographer. The pictures were amazing. She had done an extraordinary job capturing each person and no one looked cold. No one. We had all put on our smiles and ignored, if only long enough for the photo to be captured, our discomfort.
No one would guess that we were all freezing our patooties off. We did a good job hiding it.
The crippled woman we encounter in Luke 13 cannot hide her discomfort. She has been “crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (vs. 11). Her issue was both spiritual and physical in nature. When we meet her, she is in the synagogue, so riddled with discomfort, she could not stand up straight (vs 11). Jesus is teaching in the synagogue that day and he sees her, stops his teaching, and asks her to come before him (vs 12).
- Read Luke 13:10-17.
- What does Jesus say to her?
- What does he say to the religious leaders?
Unlike my popsicle family, this woman could not hide behind a smile. She had struggled with an inward issue that manifested itself into a crippling condition. For eighteen years, she had been riddled with the spiritual warfare going on inside her and the pitying glances from those on the outside.
Jesus saw her, interrupted his plans (teaching), and laid His hands on her. When this occurred, she immediately was healed and gave God praise. This passage does not explain how a spirit could so negatively affect a person (especially one who is faithful to worship God), but we know that her immediate responses are gratitude and worship.
I wish we had before and after pictures of this woman. Her story is a testament to the power of God and His care for His people.
I also love that Jesus did not ask this woman to be healed before she came to Him. She came before him, hunched over and broken. She did not try and “straighten up” before she stood before Jesus. Sometimes, I think that I need to have my “stuff together” before I go to Him with my issues, my concerns, and my hurts. But when she was willing to come before Him just as she was, He healed her.
In what area of your life do you wish Jesus would say, “you are set free from your infirmity.” Is there a physical, emotional, or spiritual issue that is crippling you in some way and stopping you from being at your best?
- How does Jesus treat this woman?
- What does this story tell us about the character of God?
- What can you glean from how Jesus interacted with the crippled woman to help you love and serve your spouse better?