One Sabbath day, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, and the Bible says, “A woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years” (Luke 13:10-13 NIV). Can you imagine how hopeless this woman must have felt? For 18 long years, she had endured this debilitating condition.
Perhaps you are struggling with some issue in your life today that has persisted for a long time. You feel as though you’ve tried everything, but to no avail. Like the woman in this story, you still find yourself “crippled” by something out of your control.
It’s no fun being “stuck,” but it’s something we’ve all experienced. Sometimes it’s a medical condition the doctors can’t remedy. At other times, the bills are coming in faster than the income. And many of us have found ourselves stuck in an unhealthy relationship we seem powerless to change.
Thankfully, the Bible says, “With God ALL things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). When you’re unable to help yourself and no human has a solution to your problem, GOD can break through your troubling circumstances and set you free!
Burdened and Bent Over
The story from Luke goes on to say that this woman “was bent over and could not straighten up at all.” This is such an apt picture of what it’s like to be burdened down with sins, sicknesses, or other situations that seem overwhelming. Sometimes the cares of life are simply too much for us to handle, and all we can do is cast our burdens on the Lord (Psalm 55:22).
Notice that the woman was unable to straighten up “at all.” Sometimes we still have hopes that we can straighten things out by our own strength and ingenuity. But this woman had come to the end of her own devices. She needed a miracle—something only God could do!
Yet, despite her years of suffering, everything was about to change for her in mere moments. Verse 12 says “Jesus saw her” and “called her forward.” Friend, I don’t know what you are going through today. But I do know this: Jesus SEES what you are going through. He CARES about you. And He is calling you FORWARD to draw near to Him and receive His healing touch.
After 18 years of suffering, this distressed woman heard Jesus tell her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity” (v. 12 NIV). The Greek word for “infirmity” is astheneia, which means to be feeble or have a lack of strength. Perhaps you can relate!
Actually, the Bible teaches that we ALL were “without strength” when we were living in sin. However, when we were powerless to save ourselves, Jesus demonstrated His love and rescued us (Romans 5:6-10). And just as He forgave us and rescued us from sin at our conversion, He’s ready to deliver you TODAY from whatever situation is still hindering you from fulfilling your destiny.
How Long Does a Miracle Take?
It doesn’t have to take a long time to be set free. In this story in Luke 13, Jesus “put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God” (v. 13 NIV).
Isn’t that beautiful? Can you imagine the joy and amazement she felt? After being bound for 18 years, this woman received an instantaneous deliverance when Jesus touched her. He straightened up her life in a mere moment, just as He can do for you and me when we come to Him in faith.
Friend, you may have endured some illness, addiction, financial lack, or other problems for a long time. But remember: Jesus specializes in miraculous turnarounds. He is speaking His Word to you and reaching out His hand to give you the breakthrough you need. This may be your moment to rise up and praise God for loosing you from some infirmity!
But one final note is very important here. Jesus didn’t attribute this woman’s crippled condition to natural causes. He said, “This dear woman…has been held in bondage by Satan for eighteen years. Isn’t it right that she be released…?” (v. 16 NLT).
You see, much of the distress we experience in this life is the result of spiritual warfare and attacks from the enemy. In order to be set free in such cases, we must address the root cause, confront the enemy, and use the weapons of spiritual warfare God has given us to overcome the devil.
The good news is that you can be assured of victory when you follow God’s simple instructions: “Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). The mighty One living in you is far greater than any attack against you (1 John 4:4).
I encourage you to pause and insert your own name in this powerful statement Jesus made to the crippled woman: “[Your Name], you are set free from your infirmity.” As you allow those words to sink deeply into your heart, faith will rise. Troubles that have persisted for years will melt away quicker than you can imagine!