“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.”
This is a message about breakthrough! It is for the many precious people of God who have been crying out to God day after day, and praying for a radical change in their lives.
This passage of Scripture talks about a woman who knew and worshipped God - she was in the synagogue when Jesus met her; but we see that for eighteen long years she had been bound by a crippling spirit which had stopped her enjoying a normal life. She had been bent over, unable to run or dance, or lift up her hands to the skies and sing songs of praise to the Lord. She had been unable to appreciate the beauty of a sunset, or the smiles on the faces of her loved ones. What she saw most was the hard ground and the dust of the road, because her back was bent over and her face was down. It is possible that she also experienced pain and discomfort. Normal aspects of life which we take for granted - like dressing or climbing steps must have been difficult and even painful for her. Her household chores, (like drawing water from a well), must have been agony. Imagine suffering this way for 18 years! She was living at less than the level God had for her. She probably came to the synagogue week after week and listened to the reading of the Scriptures. Maybe she wondered if they were really true, and whether God was real. Perhaps she wondered if He knew of her existence, and whether there was a chance that God could reach out and touch her twisted body. She may have lived in hope at the start, but it is likely that her problem got progressively worse. As the years came and went, it could be that her disability was so much a part of her identity that she could not really think of a life in which she could be whole and normal – her mind and heart became as bent over as her back, as the years passed and her faith shrank.
Jesus says in John 10:10 that He came that we may have life, and have it to the full! God's will is that every aspect of our lives be immersed in His blessing, but the thief steals, kills and destroys the fullness of life which is ours; he seeks to make us walk under the curse when Jesus has already made all provision for us to walk in the blessing.
This dear lady, (whom Jesus referred to as a ‘daughter of Abraham’) was probably just clocking in her weekly visit to the synagogue the day she received her breakthrough; but she was in the right place at the right time! The Lord Jesus, the Healer and Restorer of souls and bodies walked into the church that day. When His presence came into the service, things began to happen. Blind eyes were opened and deaf ears began to hear. The anointing and the power of the blessed Holy Spirit flowed as people who had been bound for years were set free! The lady knew someone special was in the room because she could feel the difference in the atmosphere. She knew things were happening and heard the shouts of joy and praise as people were healed! As she turned her neck sideways, she could probably see the feet of people running towards the Lord, jumping and rejoicing. She could not really see the compassionate eyes of the Master or see His healing hands - her eyes were mostly on the floor.
Then the eyes of Jesus fell on her! She heard Him call her forward, and as the people pushed her along to the front of the church, she felt her heart fill with hope. The radiant waves of power got stronger as she got closer. And as she got to Him, she could barely stay still before him because of the awesome anointing emanating from Jesus – she felt dizzy and light! Her moment had come. She believed! She heard the words that changed her life - "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity"! Jesus saw her for who she was – a woman – needy, frail, weighed down by her problem. A woman who had once been full of dreams and hopes and secret ambitions, whose life had one day been filled with laughter and joy. He saw her in all her frustration and pain, and the rejection and isolation of her infirm life. For many years she had lived on the fringe of society, unable to do many things other women could. He saw her disappointments and broken dreams. She was so bent over with the burden she carried, that she could not see the smile upon His face. For eighteen years she had lived with a pain which went deeper than the physical. It was an oppression, a bondage that had held her captive, repressed and unable to know the abundant life which was hers to have. As the words of Jesus settled upon her and penetrated into the depths of her soul to explode out in faith for healing, Jesus laid His hands on her, and she was immediately healed! A crippling infirmity of 18 years healed in an instant!
The precious Holy Spirit shows me as I write these words that there are many daughters and sons of Abraham, who have suffered months and years with infirmity, turbulent marriages and family problems. Others are battling financial lack, fears, addictions and other compulsive habits which they want freedom from. Many of us are bent over with the weight of the burden we carry. Satan has brought crippling difficulties and bondage to stop the people of God from enjoying the fullness of the blessing Jesus died to make possible. They have been robbed of the joy and peace, and the power for victory which is their portion. They have lost the freedom which Jesus paid a high price for! The weight of the burden they carry has made it difficult to look upwards at the sunshine of God's love, or see the heights to which the Holy Spirit can take them. The mundane, ground-level issues and the complexity of their problems have totally absorbed their attention.
The Lord Jesus recognized the source and cause of the deformity of this dear lady’s back. In Luke 13:16, He said to His critics “…should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” Many people of God do not see the true root of their difficulties and deal with it accordingly, as the work of Satan in their lives. Paul wrote to the Ephesian church (Ephesians 6:12) “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Modern science has made great advances in the field of medicine, and there are medicines that can alleviate physical symptoms to a great degree. However, instead of depending on prolonged medication and other seeming solutions the world offers, we need to address the root cause – the spiritual forces of darkness – and not stop with the symptoms.
Breakthrough begins when we recognize the source of our problem and begin to deal with it. We can start by asking our Father to show us the root causes of the problems we face and allow Him to guide us in the steps we take.
Notice that the crippled woman began to receive her healing when she heard and received the powerful, living Words of Jesus into her life and upon her body. Something began to happen when she heard Him call her and she obeyed. When she came into His presence, and He laid His hands upon her she was totally healed! She had been coming to church each week all her life, but never experienced a healing until she encountered the presence of Jesus. When His glory touched her, her chains were broken. Her twisted spinal chord and crooked bones and muscles were miraculously made straight. She could feel her body vibrating with the power of the Holy Spirit as bones, nerves, muscles and flesh were all corrected and made whole! Her life was transformed - for the first time in eighteen years she stood up straight and her mouth was filled with praises unto God! What joy and gratitude must have filled her heart. I believe she jumped and skipped, and danced all the way home! John 8:36 says “…if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Precious child of God, the Holy Spirit is speaking to you today and imparting a blessing upon you as you read this message. Draw near to the Lord and worship Him! Begin to receive the Words of Jesus upon your body and your mind. Absorb them into your spirit. As the servant of the living God, I say to you today in the power of the Holy Spirit and in the name of Jesus Christ that God has set you free! Whatever the situation that has crippled you and held you on a level less than what God wished for you, be loosed today. For those in need, may every spirit of lack be broken off your life and family and may you know the overflowing and abundant provision of the Father. For those who need a healing touch, may every spirit of infirmity and pain be broken off every part of your body and mind, and may you and your family know a healing and a wholeness you never knew before. For anyone bound by addictions, may the spirits that have tormented your mind and held you captive to addictions or compulsions in thought and deed be broken from your life. I apply the blood of Jesus Christ the Savior and Healer upon your mind and body.
Whatever the burden you have been carrying, be healed, be free, be restored, be blessed! Expect great transformations because that is what God wills for you! May the presence and power of God's Holy Spirit be your portion!