People of Faith Series “The Woman and The Spirit of Infirmity”
Jesus was preaching in a synagogue one Sabbath Day when a lady came in who was bent over at the waist and had been in this condition for a long time. I am sure she didn’t know what her problem was, she just knew she had trouble walking because of her physical condition. However, when Jesus saw her come into the synagogue, He called her to come to Him. Now at this same time the ruler of the synagogue was present. The ruler of a Jewish synagogue would equate to a pastor of a local congregation who is in charge of all the events that take place in the Lord’s House, as well as, tending to the needs of God‘s flock. In the Jewish synagogues there was a custom that would allow a person to speak publicly to the people and Jesus was speaking to those present during one of these times.
The handicapped lady whom Jesus called to Him would have stood out in any crowd and it was apparent to Jesus that the leader of this synagogue had not ministered to this lady’s needs. If he had she would not be in the condition she was in. We see lots of people in today’s churches who are in the same condition as this lady because they have not had their needs tended to. God gives a person a responsible position in His local church, synagogue, or by whatever name the building is called to meet the needs of His people. That means the person in charge is the shepherd to those who attend their meetings and the responsibility of God’s shepherd is to meet all the needs of God’s people. They are to heal the sick, cast out devils, teach God’s Word, correct people who enter into error, and go find those who wander away. The people God calls to leadership positions in His church should be doing everything a shepherd on the open plain would do to care for the sheep in his charge. And it was apparent to Jesus that this synagogue ruler was not doing a very good job of caring for God’s people.
Jesus did not attack this synagogue ruler for not doing his job, He simply said to the lady, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” As most lazy uncaring people do, the man got upset because Jesus did a wonderful thing for this lady on the Sabbath day when no one was suppose to work. The offended synagogue ruler said to the crowd gathered there, “There are six days on which men ought to work, therefore, come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” [Luke 13:12-17] Not only had this man not been taking care of God’s flock; but he wasn’t smart enough to keep his mouth shut. Jesus responded to the man, “Hypocrite! Do not each one of you on the Sabbath day loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” Ouch! I bet that man’s ears are still smarting from that stinging rebuke even though he has been dead for two thousand years. But that is religion for you. Isn’t it? Satan had had this lady bound up with a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years in this synagogue rulers place of worship and the ruler had done nothing in all that time to loose her from her pitiful condition. Church leaders are quick to tell the hurting among their congregations that God doesn’t do those things anymore. And when church leaders don’t fulfill their obligations to those under their care, their flocks suffer because God isn’t going to do for us what He has commanded us to do.
The faith of this lady is seen in her quick response in coming to Jesus when He called her. Jeus told her what her legal rights were under the covenant Abraham had with God Almighty.When she understood her legal rights and that she didn’t have to be bound by that spirit of infirmity, she went home free of her spirit of infirmity and walking upright for the first time in eighteen years. Now she could take care of her home, her family, and anything else she couldn’t do before because of her past condition. God sent His Son into the world because of the pitiful condition of man. He didn’t send Him because we were happy, healthy and whole. In one place it says when Jesus looked out over the crowd, “They were like sheep having no shepherd.” His people were confused, sick, broke, and frustrated in their religion because their rulers weren’t teaching them thier covenant rights and meeting their needs. But Jesus came and healed them, set them free, and gave them shepherds who would teach them their God given rights and care for them they way a shepherd is suppose to care for his flock.
Now we need to get back to that place where the shepherd truly cares for the flock God has given to them because the people filling our church pews today are just as ignorant of what their God given rights are as they were when Jesus came. And as a result of these uncaring pastors withholding important information concerning the legal rights of their congregations; spiritual forces are operating freely in God’s church binding up God’s people, while these pastors sit by and watch them die from all sorts of diseaes and tell themselves, “Well, there was nothing we could do. God will heal them when they get to heaven. He couldn’t heal them and set them free of their problems here on earth, but when they get to heaven, they won’t have to worry about their problems anymore.” Jesus called these men, HYPOCRITES in the above story! They look after themselves and their family at your expense. You pay for their health insurance, retirement, their housing and untilities and what are you getting in return? They tell their congregations, “It was just that poor persons time to go; God bless their soul.” These pastors are very good speakers, they can put together a great 3 point or 5 point sermon in a matter of moments by cutting and pasteing and calling it their own. However good speakers usually turn out to be poor doers. They can talk about religious things that sounds good, but is really nothing more than useless information. They avoid talking about our problems and that God has a solution for those problems and wants to solve them for us even worse than we want them solved. That is God’s Love in all of its greatness, but it is sadly missing in most churches today. DThrash