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Ready, Set, Free

When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”

Luke 13:12
Ready, Set, Free Book Cover


She was in the synagogue! If anything should shock us about this passage, it’s that this woman was in the synagogue.

Eighteen years without control of her own body. Eighteen years spent doubled over, having a clear view of people’s feet but not their faces. She’d spent all those years without the ability to stretch her body, restricted and in pain, unable to look up at the sky on a sunny day, unable to meet the embrace of the people she loved and the people who loved her. But she was in the synagogue, the place where the people of God went to worship.


We don’t know what had happened in this woman’s life eighteen years prior to leave her in this state. Luke doesn’t give us any details. We only know that, whatever it was—whatever she had done, or whatever had been done to her—this woman’s life had been changed forever.

Somewhere along the way, she’d encountered a spirit that had taken over her body. She was trapped and in bondage.

It can be hard to imagine the scene. We live more than two thousand years removed from this woman. In Western culture, we don’t often talk about the supernatural. We have complex, intellectual, scientific answers to meet what we assume are complex, intellectual, scientific problems we encounter in our everyday lives. Yet, if we’re honest, even two thousand years removed our world is not all that different from the woman’s world. Sometimes all the complex, intellectual, scientific answers we have simply aren’t enough to alleviate our suffering. Sometimes we’re still left wanting.

The Bible will tell us explicitly when a person is suffering from a physical illness. But while it’s clear that the woman was suffering, Luke makes it equally clear that the root of her problem ultimately wasn’t physical but spiritual. And the truth is, when it comes to our spiritual lives, we’re just like this woman. Maybe our spiritual problems don’t leave us doubled over for eighteen years, but the chal lenges can still thwart us. Augustine had a phrase for it: incurvatus in se, the life bent over on itself.1 He understood that our spiritual lives, when not in check, would lead us to self-preoccupation, turning us inward and robbing us of the love, joy, and community we were made for. (Note: Augustine was a theologian of the late Roman period whose writings greatly influenced Western Christianity and philosophy.)


This woman’s spiritual condition had left her so debilitated she couldn’t see Jesus. But Luke tells us that Jesus saw her. And even though we’re not told outright, we can be sure that Jesus took compassion on her
because when he saw her, he called her over and, without asking so much as a single question about the circumstances that had led to her bondage, he set her free.

We all have things we tolerate in our lives—toxic relationships, mental or physical ailments, or addictions. Maybe they’re things we once asked for freedom from, but we’ve since given up hope. Maybe they’re things we don’t
think Jesus is interested in changing.But we all live with bondage. The question is, do we really believe Jesus has come to set us free?


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Comments (11)

Thinking I can handle it myself! I am now transitioning in letting God into all aspects of my life and surrendering to God.

Sometimes I feel that God doesn’t see me. This woman’s pain was caused by spiritual but it was physical were people could see there was something wrong. Because my hurts and struggles are internal, and the world doesn’t take notice it seems that God won’t either. This woman didn’t see Jesus but Jesus saw her and I know that I am not invisible to God. Even though God is there for me and is offering freedom, I have to go to Him to accept it.

I often feel the same way. Like I know He will never leave me, but apart of me is like He might change His mind at the last minute. But the thing is, He won’t, because He is faithful! Satan wants us to doubt God, that’s why he attacks our mind and thoughts. But just remember God sees you, and He is faithful.

I think my impatience gets the best of me. I don’t see any short or mid term changes and I start to lose hope. I stop praying about it. I try not to think about it or I totally deny and ignore it. Sometimes my prayers feel like broken records and that goes on for so long it’s hard to stay hopeful! This is especially true with my family dynamics my work environment and my own emotional craziness! I sit or sometimes freeze just hoping someone else will come make it better or calm me or offer me a new position. I know deep down that can be God but then nothing happens amd I again lose hope

Just like this story talks about the supernatural, and it being 2000 years ago, I think I think of Jesus being that way then, but not now. It’s hard in our culture with all of the noise to tune out all of those other distractions and really see the truth in Jesus’ setting me free of all that noise, that what is going on around me is just temporary or worldly, ultimately I am his and no matter what happens here on this earth I am free in eternity!

I actually don’t ever recall hearing, seeing or reading this scripture. As I read through this days lesson and the women’s story of not being able to look up and see Jesus, I saw myself in the same situation. Spiritually bent over because of years of childhood trauma and not able to see to defend myself. Years ago when I became a Christian as I sought answers and healing I did not know exactly what was attacking me spiritually.
Even though I’ve experienced extraordinary healing from prayer, counseling and deliverance, today’s lesson makes me think I’m still spiritually bent over, hanging my head down and not truly seeing Jesus.
I find it amazing and interesting that before this study started at my church I was asking Jesus to help me to know Him and see Him. And believe He will completely heal me and free me.
I’m so grateful for this study.

Sometimes its easier to leave God out of it, so I dont wonder if He is going to help. Yes, because He is not doing it how I want it done. UGH!

Nothing; although doubt does occasionally creep in when I don’t see my husband’s health improving. He is a soon-to-be ex-Atheist, with physical and memory ailments. I’ve prayed for him, over him and the situation is getting worse, not better. I’ve accepted the freedom and have a faith that won’t let me stop believing, but on rare occasion, I often wonder if he is not being healed because of his faith, or lack thereof, but then recall that many people in the bible were healed, even when they were not true believers.

Feelings of shame, guilt, overwhelm……that sneak back in, even on days I’m feeling victory in Jesus. It’s SO annoying…..seems like a lifelong journey.

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