The Bent Woman

Krista Williams

Day: 19 | Plan: Luke

Today ’s Reading: Luke 13

Luke 13:12-13 (NIV) “When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”

Chronic illness and pain have the potential to leave you feeling helpless and hopeless. At times, it can seem as if no one understands and you are all alone in the struggle. Some people often feel useless, empty and depressed. There are days when it is difficult to get out of bed or complete simple tasks. I know. I’ve been there. And yet it was during my battle with a chronic illness that I experienced the Lord’s compassion in the sweetest of ways!

Today, in Luke 13, we find a woman who is bent over by a disabling spirit and unable to straighten herself up. Her painful, disfiguring condition has left her crippled for nearly two decades! Her very posture implies being downcast and living in defeat. And yet, she has made her way to the synagogue on the Sabbath. (It’s important to remember she is a woman living in the first century, bound by Satan [Luke 13:16], and with an obvious physical infirmity—she is an outcast in the culture.) No one in the crowd thought she was worthy to be in that setting.

When Jesus sees her, he calls her forward. Imagine what it must have been like for this woman to be seen and summoned to the front. Unable to conceal the embarrassment and the cultural shame of her condition, did she become acutely aware of every eye shifting to her as she tries to make her way to Jesus? As she struggles toward Him, are the stares from the crowd making her more self-conscious? Is she scared? Is she sick and tired of what others think?

Perhaps her heart is leaping with a sense of hope because Jesus notices her and speaks to her. Does she hear compassion in His tone? With a sea of emotions swirling inside of her she starts to move toward Jesus.

Jesus could have instantly healed her from a distance with just a word, but He didn’t. Instead, He calls her to come closer to Him. He speaks gently and with authority to her. “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (Luke 13:12). And then He reaches out and touches her.

As a result of His compassion, healing power and very presence in her life, she instantly moves from staring at the ground to seeing the glory of God face-to-face!

Jesus’ presence and power in her life change her forever. His compassion gives her courage and a new outlook on life. It’s hard to look up if you are bent over. Satan wants to keep us bent, but the compassion of Jesus gives us courage. It changes us.

What is keeping you slumped over? Are you bent by shame? Is some fear or anxiety crippling you? Is there some hurt or pain you can’t seem to shake that keeps lingering? Have you been bent and bound for way too long?

We don’t have to stay bent. One glance from Jesus and we capture His heart. He sees us. He is calling us to come closer and receive His tender touch. He can do glorious things! He is our Healer, our compassionate Savior and the lifter of our heads. (Psalm 3:3; Psalm 146:8)

Prayer: Lord God, You give strength to the weary and comfort to those in pain. I don’t want to stay bent. I want to receive your tender touch today. Give me the courage to move forward in faith, allowing You to heal and restore my deepest place of need. Do a glorious work in me. Heal every hindrance in my life and set me free. Be the lifter of my head today and always fill my lips with praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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The synagogue ruler became indignant when Jesus healed the bent woman on the Sabbath. He rudely... Read More

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