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. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. Luke 13:10-17
As someone who knows all too well what it is like to have tremendous pain and to be unable to straighten up, I can commiserate with this woman in the temple. And I have often prayed to be set free from the pain and its limitations. I also know that challenges can bring insight and compassion. So, although I have never experienced a true instantaneous healing, I know that I am being set free and unbound, day by day.
Jesus is always getting in trouble with the religious authorities. He can't help himself when he see someone who is in such pain and who is bend over. He touched a woman and made her whole and for this the leaders were angry because it was the sabbath. He was setting her free from real torture but they would rather hold to their rigid principles and let people suffer. God wants us to hear that we are daily being set free, moment by moments our bonds are being loosed. God does not watch a clock or count the days. God moves with compassion through this suffering world.
Today I ask God to help me continue to seek healing and release at all times. May we never forget the needs of those around us and respond when we are called. May today be a day of compassion, where we will not restrict others but instead set them free.