Luke 13:10-17… “And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 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. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him” (KJV).
The age of miracles has not passed by the wayside. We must believe this if we are to receive healing from long-standing infirmities. The Lord wants you well; the devil wants you sick. This passage of Scripture records the healing of a God-believing women who, in that day, was diagnosed as incurable. Perhaps today there would be some medical help for her. She was in continual pain, in discomfort, and weak. This had been going on for eighteen years. Today, there are many who are hurting and in pain, and they have lived this way for a long time. My message today is Jesus can break the power of long-standing sickness. (Someone is asking the Lord about this; I can hear it in my spirit.) Let’s look at this miracle in simple terms.
She was the daughter of Abraham, a synagogue-going woman and a worshipper. Today we might say that she was a God-fearing woman, born-again and faithful in attending the place of worship. She was not irreligious. She did not let her infirmity keep her from going to church. I’m sure she must have loved the Lord very much.
She had a spirit of infirmity–for eighteen years she was bent over, in pain and unable to stand up straight (a wheelchair candidate perhaps). Note, “whom Satan had bound.” There was an evil spirit power holding her captive. In Matthew 4:23-24, Jesus healed all manner of sicknesses. Matthew refers to eight categories of sickness. One of the categories was “divers diseases.” The meaning of these words refers to people held captive by a long-standing disease or a physical disorder. The disease was holding them in confinement, a prisoner. The devil was behind it. But Jesus healed them all. Many long-standing sicknesses need to be examined further to see if there is a “spirit” power behind it.
Jesus saw her, called out to her, and said, “Woman, thou art loosed from thy infirmity” (v. 12, KJV). This was a declaration, a creative word. He had been teaching in the synagogue, the woman’s home church. He saw her and personally picked her out. One of the many meanings of the word “healing” is “to personally care for you and to see that what was needed to be done, was done.” The word “loosed” as used here means “to be set free permanently.” When the spoken word came to her, she made a decision to believe; she didn’t reject it. Jesus is the word of authority and of power. We possess the promise the moment the Word of the Lord comes to us. This woman chose to believe the word of Jesus the moment she heard it. Romans 4:17b says, “Even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were” (KJV). God is a Creator. He calls forth life in us healing and it becomes a reality in the same moment that He speaks it. God is a God who talks. When He talks He gives us a promise of something He wants to bring into our lives. At the moment He speaks it becomes reality. The woman saw this and believed at that moment and was healed even before hands were laid upon her. We want to see the healing before we will believe. Let me illustrate further:
John 4:46-54… A certain nobleman came to Jesus seeking healing for his son. It was an urgent matter, but Jesus didn’t go. Instead, Jesus demonstrated that He can heal the son by speaking the word. Jesus said to the nobleman, “Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe” (v. 48, KJV). Jesus challenged the nobleman not to wait until a sign happens before he believed. Believe at the point that the Word is given. The nobleman didn’t understand. Jesus spoke again, “Go thy way; thy son liveth” (v. 50). The man believed at that point and went his way home. The nobleman had to make a choice at the time the word was given.
He had to choose between believing (exercising faith) or unbelief. He could have walked away in anger. On his way home his servants met him and said that the boy is well. The nobleman said, “When did he start to get well?” The servants gave him the exact time–it was the exact time Jesus gave him the word that his son would live. The healing took place the moment Jesus gave the word.
When Jesus gives us a Word concerning something He wants to do in us, at that point it becomes a reality, because what He said exists (Romans 4:17). Our problem is not with the written Word, but with the spoken Word (the Rhema). In Song of Solomon 5:6, the Bride said, “My soul failed when He spake” (KJV). Her soul failed to respond to the voice of the king. Often when a spoken Word comes by the Spirit, we have a problem with it, because we start to reason with our intellect. We get hung up on, “Is the word from the flesh or from the Holy Spirit?” God’s spoken Word is pure and righteous. We must believe this. Our reasoning must become servant to the Word that comes from God by the Holy Spirit. If we want to walk in obedience to what God said, intellect must become servant to the spoken Word at that very moment it is given. It is at the point of the given Word that we must make a choice: believe it or reject it. Unbelief can be caused by over-thinking or over-reasoning. Every one of us loves to hear a fresh Word from the Lord for the purpose of keeping healthy. When Jesus speaks a Word, it is current and up-to-date. Let’s go back to the woman in our text…
Jesus laid hands on her. Laying on of hands is an impartation of power and of life, and a confirmation. The woman felt the touch of His hands. So did the leper in Mark 1:40-42. So did the deaf man in Mark 7:32-35. So did the boy in Luke 7:11-16 (this boy had died). So did the two blind men in Matthew 20:29-34. So did Peter’s mother-in-law in Mark 1:29-31. You can feel His touch for the purpose of healing. Long-standing disease does not hinder Jesus from healing people, but our unbelief will.
She glorified God. She was healed immediately and permanently. Jesus saw her faith in the synagogue that day, and perhaps said within Himself, “Woman, you have been bound long enough. Thou art loosed.” She acted on that word. A long-standing illness that is “devil-controlled” does not glorify God. God’s glory comes in the healing, in the loosing, in the breaking of the devil’s hold on people.
Antagonistic preachers, angry preachers, preachers who look for “motes” all condemned Jesus for healing on the Sabbath day (and in the synagogue). This kind is all around us today, opposing what Jesus came to do. They act as if healing should not be done out in the open (in the church sanctuary). Jesus lays it on them and says, “Ought not this woman, being the daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?” (v. 16, KJV). That’s what the gospel is for, isn’t it? To loose people from their sins and all infirmities? If we saw more miracles in the church, sinners would come and they would believe on Jesus Christ and be saved. The gospel is the power of God when it is believed (Romans 1:16).
Exodus 23:25-26… “I will take sickness away from the midst of thee . . .” was God’s promise to Israel. “. . . the number of thy days will I fulfill” (KJV). In Psalm 105:37, we are told that on Israel’s march to Canaan there was “not one feeble person among their tribes.” (Note also Exodus 15:26.) We are under grace, a better covenant. A more excellent ministry is available to God’s people (Hebrews 8:6).
Pastor George Belobaba
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