By Brooke Holt
“Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your disability.’ And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.” Luke 13:10-13
One question I have wrestled with throughout challenging times in my life is, “does God see me?” A follow-up question may be, “does God truly care about me and my suffering?” These are honest and important questions to ask the Lord. I believe Scripture answers these questions throughout the Old and New Testaments. There was the story of Hagar, who fled from her mistress, Sarah, and God found her at the well in the wilderness. God not only met her but spoke to her that day (read this amazing story in Genesis 16). Astounded, Hagar referred to the Lord, “You are a God of seeing” (Genesis 16:13). That changed everything for Hagar, and she faithfully returned to her mistress and duties.
In our passage from Luke today, Jesus is engaged in important business. He was teaching in the synagogue. Then he saw her. A woman came in who was bent over. You can imagine her spine completely out of alignment and her head forward. This would be an uncomfortable position made even worse because she could not straighten herself. Who knows what she had done to get healing from this ailment? All we know is she had been like that for eighteen years.
Then, Jesus saw her in the temple, stopping his important work to heal this precious woman. He saw her, had compassion for her, and healed her with just a few words: “Woman, you are freed from your disability” (verse 12). Can you imagine how her life changed that day? She went from being the bent-over woman to the woman who could stand straight, the woman who had been set free from a disabling spirit, the woman who was seen and healed by Jesus. For the first time in eighteen years, she saw straight ahead of her, and it is likely the person she saw was Jesus. Jesus, the one who saw her.
What a testimony that woman had from that day forward. She was seen by the Lord, and then she saw the Lord. Scripture doesn’t tell us what she did from that day forward. It just tells us she glorified God. She was probably the most unlikely person to have been singled out that day, yet she is the one Jesus set his eyes on and brought his healing power to.
I think she is also a reminder Jesus sees his people; Jesus knows his people; he has compassion for them, and he is still the God of healing.
Are you looking to Jesus today and trusting that he does indeed see you? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week small group Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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