Summary: A look at the hands of Jesus and their incredible power of healing
“God and Human Hands”
March 20, 2005
Intro: Today we are going to look at the hands of Jesus. We are not going to focus on the scenes from the events leading to the cross, but we are going to look at the incredible power of the healing hands of Christ.
*Quote from Dr. Paul Brand-
And then came the hands of Christ the physician. The Bible tells us strength flowed from them when he healed people. He preferred to perform miracles not en masse, but rather one by one, touching each person he healed.
When Jesus touched eyes that had dried out, they suddenly admitted light and color again. Once, he touched a woman who suffered with a hemorrhage, knowing that by Jewish law she would make him unclean. He touched those with leprosy—people no one else would touch. In small and personal ways, his hands set right what had been disrupted in Creation.
Today we are going to look at an event in the life of Jesus that shows us what his mission was all about.
It was a common practice for visiting teachers to teach in the synagogues on the Sabbath. This is where we find Jesus in this encounter with the woman who had been crippled for 18 years.
“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 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. Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’ The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’ When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.” Luke 13:10-17
I. Jesus has authority in his hands.
The woman has been held captive by an evil spirit for 18 years. She is not crippled from age or the effects of a medical condition. Scripture is clear that she has been held captive by an evil spirit.
When Jesus sees her, he calls her forward and places her at the center of his focus.
Jesus has compassion on those crippled by life.
In an encounter with a man with leprosy, Jesus demonstrates his compassion:
“Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him and said, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’” Mark 1:41 (NAS)
Jesus was more concerned with the person than the custom of the time.
You were not supposed to touch a leper or heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus focused on the wholeness of the person above the rules of the religious leaders.
When Jesus speaks to the woman, he tells her she is “free from her infirmity.”
The original language tells us she has been “loosed.”
Ancient medical writers used the term “loosed” to describe the removal of a curvature of the spine or related illnesses.
When Jesus touches the woman, she straightens up and begins praising God.
Jesus has the power to make straight the crookedness of our lives.
Jesus’ hands hold authority over the physical world and the spiritual world.
This woman was not only free from her physical condition, but her spiritual life was changed. The evil spirit that plagued her was gone and she was able to be free from the torment of 18 years.
What is tormenting you? Are you held captive under a grip of evil that has plagued your life?
Jesus has authority to heal your life.
II. Jesus desires your freedom.
The religious leaders were angry. They did not celebrate the fact that this woman was freed from evil oppression. They were mad Jesus healed on the Sabbath.
Look at the different responses:
“Then he put his hands on her and she straightened up and praised God.” Luke 13:13 (NIV)
“Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
Luke 13:14 (NIV)
The religious leaders were focused on their custom, not God’s power.
The practice was that no work could be done on the Sabbath. It was established by God to be a day of rest. But the Jewish rulers of the day had taken God’s design to the extreme.