Are we truly free in Christ or are we still in a state of bondage?
Let’s learn that religious bondage is every bit as bad as slavery.
Let’s discuss Luke 13:10-17 healing, the Sabbath and freedom.
Luke 13:10 One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, 11 he saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” 13 Then he touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. How she praised God!
14 But the leader in charge of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus had healed her on the Sabbath day. “There are six days of the week for working,” he said to the crowd. “Come on those days to be healed, not on the Sabbath.”
15 But the Lord replied, “You hypocrites! Each of you works on the Sabbath day! Don’t you untie your ox or your donkey from its stall on the Sabbath and lead it out for water? 16 This dear woman, a daughter of Abraham, has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released, even on the Sabbath?”
17 This shamed his enemies, but all the people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
You are Set Free (vs 10-13)
In the synagogue on the Sabbath, Jesus saw a woman with a spirit of weakness, some kind of muscular disorder, caused by evil forces. Jesus told her that she was released or set free from the sickness. Jesus touched her in an appropriate gesture of encouragement to her faith and she was made straight and praised God for her healing.
Literally, Jesus healed a woman with a weakness caused by an evil spirit. By analogy, she was freed on the day of freedom from work. Morally, Jesus, as the creator of the Sabbath day, had every right to determine what was appropriate conduct on that day. Prophetically the Sabbath pictures our day of eternal rest from wickedness all around us.
Jesus healed a woman through word and touch. James (5:13-16) mentions faith, prayer and anointing oil. Naaman dipped in the Jordan seven times. Jesus made mud from spit and dirt. Faith is not always mandated. Paul sent (anointed) cloths to the sick (Acts 19:11-12). The Bible mentions many ways that healing was done. Within those guidelines is safety.
Literally, God heals us, not our prayer efforts or olive oil. By analogy, our care for the sick is a physical representation of the hands of Jesus, who does the healing. Morally, we have no right to draw attention to ourselves. Mystically, any healing in this life is only temporary, but symbolic of the permanent healing we receive in eternity.
Rejoice in Freedom (vs 14-17)
Jesus set a woman free on the Sabbath day, but the synagogue leader could only see the day as a day of bondage to man-made rules of Sabbath observance. Jesus bluntly addresses the clear hypocrisy where cattle are set free to be watered on the Sabbath and clearly this “daughter of Abraham” should be set free of her crippling disease.
Literally, the comparison of freeing cattle and the woman shamed the synagogue leader. By analogy, many of our man-made church rules are called into question. Morally, any interpretation of Scripture that causes more bondage and less freedom ought to be questioned. Prophetically, would our church traditions sometimes become more Pharisaic than Christ-like? Christianity is a religion of freedom not bondage.
This is actually a story of two people in bondage, a crippled woman and a synagogue leader. The woman was in bondage to a crippling spirit. The synagogue leader was in bondage to human traditions and the letter of the law. Both needed a healing word from Jesus, one was the word “you are healed;” the other was an intervention.
Literally, two people needed to be healed, but in different ways. Morally, Israel was given the Sabbath as a day of freedom from seven workdays in Egypt. By analogy, human society tends to enforce a yoke of bondage, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Prophetically, only Jesus can truly free us from our natural human tendency to take freedom from each other.
Jesus came to set us free from sickness and enslaving human rules. Let us live in the freedom of Christ.