Thursday, September 24, 2015

Jesus sees us as we are

"And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, 'Woman, you are freed from your sickness.' And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God. But the synagogue official, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, began saying to the crowd in response, 'There are six days in which work should be done; so come during them and get healed, and not on the Sabbath day." Luke 13: 10-14 NASB

Today, we are beginning a new series. Jesus was not in Jerusalem. We know that because He was in a synagogue on the Sabbath rather than in the Temple. A synagogue was a place in town where Jews met together for prayers, Scripture reading, and teaching. Every Jewish town, as well as Gentile towns with a number of Jewish residents, had a synagogue. 

On this particular Sabbath, Jesus had been invited to teach the Scripture. He wasn't just doing the reading, He was giving an exposition of the Scripture. Get this picture in your mind for a moment. Jesus, in front of the people who are gathered, is teaching. A woman who had a sickness was there. 

Neither chronic illness nor chronic hopelessness kept her from Jesus.

The word used here is astheneia. This is a medical term used by Dr. Luke to indicate a weakness, frailty, or feebleness. The addition of the word pneuma indicates that it was a disease caused by a spirit. She was doubled over and could not stand straight.

Jesus glanced around as He was teaching and noticed the woman. Instead of waiting until He completed teaching, He didn't waste a minute. He called the woman forward, because healing was on His mind from the moment He saw her. She came forward, Jesus laid hands on her, and she was immediately made well. She stood up straight and tall and praised God for it.

Because she was bent double, her head would have been facing down toward the ground. Making eye contact with Jesus would have been difficult, if not impossible. Her healing, however, was not dependent upon her turning her eyes toward Jesus. 

What mattered most was that Jesus had His eyes turned toward her.

Scripture tells us that God's eyes roam to and fro throughout the earth. He sees us. We are not adrift in this world, merely hoping God will notice us. 

We are seen. We are known. We are loved.

This woman had dealt with her issue for 18 years. The spirit had caused an infirmity that everyone could see. It had caused her to take her eyes off everything except the dirt beneath her feet, but that didn't keep her from healing, because Jesus' eyes saw everything.

He looked at her and called her to Himself.

Our Lord has seen us, too, with all the destruction and infirmity sin has caused in our lives, and He is calling us to Himself. He knows the issues we've dealt with for years. He sees our struggle and wants us to be healed. We don't have to see Him to respond. We simply have to move in the direction of His voice. He will handle the rest.

Can you hear Him calling you? 

Just as the bent woman did, if we move in the direction of our Lord, He will handle the rest. He desires freedom for us. Healing. Hope.

Help is available for the thing with which we have struggled the longest. Are you tired of keeping your eyes on the dirt beneath your feet? Jesus can help. 

Listen, then move. Healing awaits in the loving hands of our Savior.
Our Father, Thank you for seeing us and knowing us. Help us to respond to your call and allow you to touch and heal those things with which we have struggled for years. Set us free and help us to stay free. In the name of Jesus, Amen
#disciple #healing #freedominChrist #Biblestudy