"On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 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, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God" (Luke 13:10-13).
I think it is beautiful and profound that Jesus chose to heal this woman with touch. I imagine Him gently laying his hands on her. Not feather light, but a lovingly firm pressure. A touch that said I am not afraid to touch you. A touch that said I care about you. A touch that said you are safe, valued, accepted. A touch that said you are not your condition.
The way Jesus healed wasn't a one size fits all kind of healing.
Some He healed with words.
Some He healed with touch.
Some He healed at a close distance.
Some He healed from afar.
Some He healed in public.
Some He healed in private.
Some He healed immediately.
Some He healed delayed.
Why so many different ways to heal? Because Jesus knows us, and we all need healing in different ways.
While physical touch was not always the method in which Jesus healed or does heal, there is another type of touch that He does for all of us. It is the spiritual kind. The kind that binds up unseen wounds. The kind you feel when you are down on your knees. The kind that reaches out and envelopes your heart. I think it can be harder to let Him touch us in that way, because to allow this kind of touch is much more vulnerable. Is it not much easier to accept physical healing than it is to let the Great Physician work on your soul? Most of us would gladly accept curing of a physical ailment, but the healing of a soul wound that has festered for quite some time? Letting Jesus into a room in our heart where we are hiding sin? Revisiting past hurts? The stitching and cleansing of those wounds are not ones that we are willing to endure sometimes. Often, soul wounds aren't the ones that are healed immediately. They are often the kind that are done in steps. And that can be really hard.
We can look at this verse and see that yes, this woman was healed immediately from her physical ailment once Jesus laid His hands on her. But her healing started before that. It started with becoming tired of being bent over. Tired of looking at the ground view. Tired of believing the wrong labels. Tired of the lack of confidence. Tired of living in a way that was not the best life she could live. Sometimes...not really living at all. Her healing process moved along as she moved toward Jesus and even more when she trusted Him. She put her hope in Him as her Healer. It is the same hope we have in our own journey towards standing tall in our identity in Christ.
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).
I don't know if you are tired. And if you are, I don't know exactly what you are tired of. But, it just may be the beginning of your journey to building confidence in your true identity as His daughter and towards healing in standing straighter and taller....
1. What does healing mean to you?
2. What do you need healing from? What needs to be healed behind the labels you have been wearing or the things that have kept your spiritual posture bent and slumped over?
3. What are you tired of? Are you ready to take a step towards healing? Towards building a greater confidence in your Christ given identity? Towards starting to unravel into a tall posture?
4. Do you trust Jesus? Even with the hard stuff? Enough to be vulnerable? Enough to let Him into every room of your heart?