Summary: Just like the woman in the synagogue, too often we accept whatever is crippling us when Jesus desires to heal and deliver us.
BOWING TO A CRIPPLING SPIRIT Luke 13:10-17
It’s hard for us to think about this passage of Scripture without thinking about all that this woman must have gone through.
• For 18 years this woman had been crippled: Bent over and unable to straighten herself up.
• We can only imagine the physical pain she must have endured.
• We can only imagine the looks she received, the comments she heard, and the teasing she endured.
• But for eighteen years this woman remained faithful to worship God in the synagogue.
Dr. Luke tells us that this was no ordinary crippling. She had been crippled “by a spirit.”
• You might assume that eighteen years before this she was just walking along minding her own business, and this “spirit” just came along and jumped on her to cripple her.
• But that’s not now it happens ~ no matter what Hollywood tries to show us in the movies.
• While spirits can ‘attack’ us at any time (and we can defeat them by the power of the Holy Spirit in us) ~ Luke says that she wasn’t attacked ~ she was demon possessed!
And spirits cannot live where they are not invited.
• Somewhere along the line, this woman made the choice not to believe, follow or trust in God and opened up the door for this spirit to enter her.
• Somewhere along the line, she allowed something into her life, that she thought she could control, but eventually controlled her that opened the door for this spirit to enter.
• But the fact remained that, as Jesus tells us in v. 16, “Satan has kept her in this condition for 18 years” and now she’s bowing to this crippling spirit.
Look closely at the end of verse 11, “She was hunched over and couldn’t stand up straight.” (God’s Word)
• In the Greek it literally says this (and this is one time I think that the modern translations put it too mildly), “…she was bowed together, and not able to bend back at all,”
• She was bend over and there was nothing at all she could do about it ~ there’s was no way for her to straighten herself up! She was literally ‘bowing to this crippling spirit.’
But then we see something wonderful in verses 12 & 13 (read)
1). Jesus saw her!
A). Isn’t that a wonderful thing!
• I wonder, over those 18 years, how many people just ignored her.
• I wonder how many people felt bad for her, but shook their heads and just turned away ~ or maybe even crossed over to the other side of the street when she walked by.
B). But Jesus saw her!
• 1 Peter 3:12, “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears open to their prayer.”
• Friends, when we are doing what God calls us to do ~ when we are doing our best to worship and serve the Lord, both in Spirit and in Truth, HE SEES US!
• Yes, this woman had done something in her past ~ some 18 years earlier ~ that had invited this demon spirit in, and it was totally messing up her life; but look where she is: in the synagogue, worshipping God! And Jesus sees her!
• But it wasn’t enough for Jesus just to see her ~ countless other people had seen her…
2). Jesus called to her!
A). Luke doesn’t say it specifically, but I believe that Jesus called her by name!
• John 10:3, “He calls his sheep by name and leads them out of the pen.”
B). Have you ever really thought about what it means for God to know you personally?
• “He calls His sheep BY NAME!”
• Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Behold I stand at the door and knock…”
• That’s YOUR door ~ and MY door! He knows us!
C). Now look, Jesus called the woman to “come to Him.”
• Again, Jesus calls us into RELATIONSHIP with Him…to follow Him!
D). In the OT the children of God were considered servants of God.
• They were under the Law and Paul says, were slaves to it.
• But in John 15:15, Jesus says, “I don't call you servants anymore... But I've called you friends.”
• I’m sure that Jesus became a friend to this woman, just as He desire to have a true relationship with us today!
3). Jesus spoke to her and touched her!
A). What an awesome thing: God speaks to His children.
• And it’s just as awesome when we listen! The woman came over to Jesus!
B). John 10:27-28, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”