The Words She Never Thought She’d Hear (Ros' Blog)
How much of a struggle was it for her to get to the synagogue that morning? To get up off her mattress on the floor and wrap herself in her clothes, to feel her way shuffling down the street and in through the doorway, to lower herself onto the floor in the women’s section, wondering how she would get up again?
When the scroll of the Tanakh was handed to the young Rabbi and the congregation stood to hear Him read, who helped her to her feet? Did she struggle alone, or did the younger women lend her their arms and their strength?
She never meant to cause any trouble. She didn’t look defiantly at anyone – indeed, she didn’t look at anyone at all. Even when the young Rabbi noticed her and called her forward, as she inched painfully towards him, the eyes of all burning into the top of her head, all she saw of Him was His feet. Bent double, the floor was her entire field of vision. They were grubby those feet, encased in worn sandals. They looked like feet that had done a lot of walking and come a long way.
She trembled, not knowing why he had singled her out or what he planned to do, unable to take any cues from His face for she could not lift her own far enough to see the look in His eyes.
The voice, when it spoke, sounded soft and familiar. It might have been her own son’s voice. But the words it spoke were like nothing she had heard before. “Woman” (spoken gently and respectfully) “You have been freed from your infirmity.”
She had? How did He know? Where was the evidence? Before she had time to ponder these questions, she felt His touch, a hand on each shoulder, and as He touched her, she straightened up and stood erect, something she had not done for eighteen long years.
That was when the trouble began. The synagogue leader began to shout at her that she should not have come to be healed on the Sabbath, since there were six other days she could have chosen from. Instinctively her shoulders dropped again and her face turned back down to the floor, this time not in infirmity but in shame. She had sought the young Rabbi and been publicly disgraced for doing so.
But before she could turn and shuffle shamefacedly out, much as she had come in, the Rabbi spoke up in her defence. It was right that God should choose the Sabbath day to free her from what had bound her.
And in that moment she realised that she had been bound by much more than her physical disability, and that the touch from Jesus had not been a mere physical healing, but had unbound her deep in her spirit from the things that had kept her from being who she was created to be.
May your encounter with Jesus today touch the deepest part of your innermost being and free you from anything that prevents you from being and doing everything that God had in mind for you when He created you.
You can read this story in Luke 13. 10-17.