Daily Devotional

"Set Free" by Jesus

by Simon Whitton

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues,
11 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.
12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity."
13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue ruler said to the people, "There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath."
15 The Lord answered him, "You hypocrites! Doesn't each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water?
16 Then 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?"

Luke 13:10-16 (NIV)

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this story is the faith of the woman. She had been crippled by a spirit for 18 long years, yet on the Sabbath she was in the synagogue. Bent over, unable to straighten up at all, how many of us would have given up on God long before? Jesus appears to confirm the faith of this woman when He calls her 'a daughter of Abraham'.

Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.
Galatians 3:7 (NIV)

Her response upon being set free is to immediately praise God.

The response from the synagogue ruler was indignation. He was so caught up in legalism that he missed a personal encounter with the Son of God.

Jesus had told the woman she was "set free", but this was beyond the ruler's understanding, he preferred "healed";. Jesus used a parable where an ox or donkey needed to be untied from where it was bound, then it could be led to water. So there was no misunderstanding, Jesus even explained this parable, repeating that she had been bound - "by Satan" - and needed to be "untied"[1] from what bound her.

There was a spiritual root to this physical problem, and Jesus released her from it.

Perhaps you feel crippled in an area of your life. It could be something that you have suffered with for a long time. Whether it's physical or affects your personality in some way, you may be bound.

The 'synagogue' rulers may or may not be sympathetic to your needs, but there is one who is, the one who you have faith in. He values the 'children of Abraham', and only He has the power to set you free.

Most importantly, keep your faith, and remain in the 'synagogue'. You will encounter Him yet. It may be years from now or it may be today.

Spend some time in prayer. If you are bound in some way, then ask Him to release you. Perhaps you know of someone who needs to be set free, pray for them.

[1]The words in the NIV: "set free" vs.12, "untie" vs.15, "set free" vs.16, in the original Greek all come from the same root word; which is often accurately translated as: 'released', 'loosen', or 'untie'.

SHARE this Devotional