TO CHEW ON: "And behold there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen year and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up," Luke 13:11
There is something imagination-capturing about this woman, so bound by a "spirit of infirmity" that she was physically bent over. In a way, her physical state pictures the helplessness of each one of us.
Though we like to think we are in control of it, the course of our lives is largely out of our hands (Jeremiah 10:23). We even need God to draw us to Himself (John 6:44) like He did this unfortunate woman.
Watch the scene. Jesus noticed this helpless, stooped woman, called her and she shuffled over. Then He touched her and said, "Woman you are loosed from your infirmity." At His touch, "immediately she was made straight." Incredible! She could stretch to her full height again after 18 long years!
Do we realize how helpless we are at any and all stages of our lives? Jesus died so that we can be free from the body casts, the handcuffs of spiritual bondage in which we are bound from birth (Romans 5:6). But even after we come to Him, we are helpless to live in ways that are blameless (Romans 7:18). We need to stay attached to Him to live lives that will accomplish anything eternally significant (John 15:5).
The sad part is, most of the time I live entirely unaware of how helpless I am without Him, how unable to raise myself up. How about you?
At the end of today's reading, Jesus gives His listeners more word-pictures about the Kingdom of God. There's a wonderful song written by Allan Levi that illustrates the way Jesus lived this kingdom while on earth. "The Land Where the People Walk Backward."
Do your 8-12-year-olds have daily devotions? Point them to Bible Drive-Thru.