Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Bent Out of Shape

And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, "Woman, you are freed from your sickness." And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.  Luke 13:10-13

Mark Twain once said, "There are only two kinds of people in the world; those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and everyone else."  We often see people in the categories of "us and them" and in doing so we place on "them" the burden of having to meet our expectations ... how we think they should live their lives.  When we discover that people do not live up to our expectations we get bent out of shape.  Luke introduces us to two bent out of shape people, a lady and a leader.  

Bent Out of Shape Lady
Luke paints a vivid word picture of the lady. She is described as being so physically bent over she could not raise herself to look up. Looking at the ground was her view of life, as well as her plight in life for the past 18 years.  When she was in the synagogue she only heard Jesus, she did not see Him. CH Spurgeon said, "She lived in a posture of forced humility."

We get the picture that this lady was not suffering from just bad posture. Luke describes her condition as two-fold; a spirit of infirmity ... sickness, disease, frailty and bound by Satan ... oppression not possession.
Understand that not all infirmities are caused by Satan.  But this lady's spiritual condition was affecting her physical condition so as to cause her to be bent out of shape for eighteen long years.  Perhaps she had resigned herself to think she would always be bent over, losing all hope that anything could be done.  Eighteen long years!

Two things claim our attention from this story.  One is the nearly two decade oppression this lady had suffered and the hopelessness that must have been in her spirit.  But the second is the fact that she still never missed church!  She still came and due to that was present when the healer named Jesus came by.  She represents many who come expectantly week after week praying for deliverance and the faithfulness of God to meet their need.

Seeing her He stopped teaching and called to her to come to Him. Jesus didn't want to expose her, but help her.  Again I emphasize her condition.  Though others raised their heads to see, she could not.  She could only make her way toward the voice of the One who was calling her to come.  Jesus saw her before she ever saw Him.  Jesus said to her, "Woman you are loosed from you infirmity." 

I cannot say for sure how Jesus did it, but I know He did it! The lady had been set free from the disease and spiritual ailments that ruled over her! 

Jesus placed His hands on her and the immediate response was, the lady was made straight and she began to praise God! This bent out of shape lady experienced the "lifting love" of Jesus and she praised God! 

Scripture to Claim:
I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry. 2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, Out of the miry clay, And set my feet upon a rock, And established my steps. 3 He has put a new song in my mouth; Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, And will trust in the LORD.  Psalms 40:1-3

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