Summary: Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus: The Kingdom Advances: Freedom for the Captives
Being an Authentic Follower of Jesus:
The Kingdom Advances: Freedom for the Captives
Books – Williams on kingdom
Jesus has gone from teaching that tragedies are meant to awaken us to our need to repent, the fig tree teaching us that God mercifully gives Israel more time to respond to Jesus. Now we find Jesus teaching in a synagogue and freeing a woman who has been disabled by a demonic spirit. This deliverance or healing is a signpost that the kingdom is advancing and gives Israel yet another opportunity to respond.
1. Jesus’ First Encounter: The Woman (vs. 10-13)
By this time Jesus has quite a reputation because of his teaching and healing ministry (See Luke 4:18-19; 32 & 36). As he is teaching in a synagogue, he notices a woman who is bent over and cannot stand up straight. She has had this condition for eighteen years. Her disability has ostracized her and labeled her as a great sinner. Who sinned this man or his parents that he was born blind (John 9:20). Instead of looking down on her, as has been her experience for eighteen years, he calls her to himself. He sought her out to give her life and he does that with each one of us.
Picture this scene. No teacher has ever given this woman much notice except that she deserves her disability. Like Jobs friends, she has been accused of and questioned about her sinfulness. In addition to her physical disability, she has emotional and spiritual turmoil. When Jesus calls out to her, her heart soars with hope. As she attempts to stand in front of him, he declares, ‘you are freed from your disability and laying his hands on her she immediately is made straight and erupts in spontaneous worship.’ She worships as she has never worshipped before! God frees her from a demonic spirit and another prisoner has been set free. Jesus came to set the captives free. What freedom do you need today?
The point – Jesus calls us to reach out with compassion to those who are hurting.
2. Jesus’ Second Encounter: The spirit
This woman was afflicted by a demonic spirit. The term, daughter of Abraham, points to her being a believer. I say this because when Zachaeus repents Jesus calls him a son of Abraham.
ESV Luke 19:9 And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.
ESV Galatians 3:7 Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
I say this to point out that as a believer she had demonic influence in her body. It is interesting that this week I had someone ask me what can demons do to us physically. There are two extremes we can have when it comes to demonic influence: totally dismiss it or see everything as demonic. This woman had not been helped for eighteen years because those called to care for her soul were blind and ignorant to the devils schemes. Let us not be ignorant of his schemes corporately and individually.
Jesus freed this woman as an act of compassion but the larger purpose is to show the kingdom rule and reign is collapsing the power of Satan in the lives of Gods people.