Read the Bible in One Year: OT 1 Samuel 27-29, NT Luke 13:1-22
Luke 13:11-13 – 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, â€œWoman, you are set free from your infirmity.â€ Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
God is all knowing and He knows the depths of each heart.
God is compassionate and calls us to reflect His compassion.
Jesus is teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath day. In the midst of His teaching, Jesus encounters a woman who had been crippled by a disabling spirit for eighteen years. The specific details of her condition are not provided, but she is described as being bent over and unable to straighten up. Upon seeing her, Jesus calls her over, with a compassionate touch, He speaks with authority and compassion over her. The woman is immediately healed, she stands up straight and begins to glorify God.
However, the ruler of the synagogue reacts with indignation, reminding the people that healing work should not be done on the Sabbath. â€œHe had not even the courage to speak directly to Jesus. He addressed his protest to the waiting people, although it was meant for Jesus.â€ (Barclay). Jesus responds with rebuke, pointing out their inconsistency in caring for their animals on the Sabbath but denying healing to this daughter of Abraham. The crowd rejoices at the miraculous healing, while Jesus’ opponents are put to shame.
Jesus takes notice of the suffering woman, demonstrates God’s mercy by healing her, and challenges the religious authorities’ legalistic approach. Our compassionate God sees our suffering, and has unwavering love and mercy towards His children (Psalm 103:13).
When Jesus saw the woman, He called her to Himself. He didn’t overlook her amidst the crowd; He singled her out. Jesus’ actions reveal God’s heart for the broken and oppressed. Isaiah 53:4 reminds us that Jesus took up our pain and bore our suffering. His compassion extends beyond our physical well-being; His words not only brought physical healing but also liberated her from emotional and spiritual burdens.
God’s compassion is not limited by time or circumstance. The woman had been crippled for a significant portion of her life, yet Jesus chose that precise moment to intervene and bring about her healing. God’s timing is perfect. He knows when to reach out and touch our lives, bringing transformation and renewal when we need it most.
As Christians, we are called to express compassion as we live out our faith, responding to God’s love for us:
- Show Mercy (Luke 6:36): We should demonstrate mercy because our Heavenly Father is merciful, showing kindness and forgiveness to us. As His children, we are called to extend the same mercy to others.
- Extend Help (1 John 3:17-18): Being followers of Christ means actively reaching out and offering practical assistance to those in need. Our faith should compel us to go beyond mere words and engage in tangible acts of service.
- Offer Comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4): The world is filled with pain and suffering, and as Christ’s disciples, we are called to be agents of comfort and emotional support to those who are hurting or facing difficult circumstances.
- Reach Out to the Marginalized (Isaiah 1:17): Following the example of Christ, our compassion should extend to those who are marginalized, oppressed, or considered outcasts by society.
- Forgive Others (Ephesians 4:32): Compassion includes offering forgiveness to others, just as Christ forgave us. Through forgiveness, we extend God’s love, mercy, and reconciliation to those who have wronged us, reflecting His character and fostering healing and restoration.
- Pray for Others (James 5:16): Prayer is an act of service and an expression of compassion. As Christians, we are called to intercede in prayer for those who are suffering, in need, or experiencing hardships. Through our prayers, we can bring comfort, healing, and the power of God into their lives.
As we reflect on this passage, may we be inspired to walk in the footsteps of our compassionate Savior, our Chain Breaker, living lives marked by the transformative power of God’s compassion, impacting the lives of those around us, bringing glory to Him.
- In what areas of your life do you need to practice forgiveness and extend compassion towards others? How can you emulate Christ’s forgiveness, offering reconciliation and healing?
- How can you demonstrate compassion towards others in practical ways, following the example of Jesus? Are there specific acts of mercy, help, or comfort that you can extend to those around you?
- Spend a moment in prayer, asking God to deepen your understanding of His compassion and to empower you to live a life marked by compassion towards others. Seek His guidance and strength to fulfill the calling to be His compassionate ambassador in the world.
For more daily devotions like this – At the Potter’s Wheel (Kindle)