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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 (12)

I am a Christian. I was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, and I accepted His sacrifice many decades ago. Nevertheless,
I am sometimes bound by expectations of our modern culture, the release from which only comes through appealing to
the One Who loves me and wants me to be free!

I have accepted Christ as my savior, but I do still feel enslaved to certain fears and anxieties. I am working on taking those thoughts captive and giving them to the Lord! I do experience the freedom He gifts, but I want to experience it more fully! That is my sincere prayer!

I pray about everything and I see the blessings from God every day. I know he loves me, but sometimes I feel like it’s my fault the situation I am in…why should be help me. Example financial…spend to much money….then worry about bills. I have looked back on my life and even during the hard times..anxiety, depression and yes money, he has always got me through it. Couldn’t live this life without my father in heaven!

I’m getting better with this. I have buried 2 children in my lifetime and I have spent 20 years very angry with God because he took my children from me.

I believe deep inside we all feel unworthy, at times, of being free. Although Jesus promises when we accept
Christ, He has paid for all of our sins past, present and future, sometimes we all have doubts. Our humanity tries to get the best of us.

Sometimes I get angry for being sick and don’t understand why I suffer so much…. it’s just been going on for so long, I know he is using me for a greater purpose…. sometimes it’s just hard to see and know that in the moment…

You do deserve it. Otherwise Jesus giving his life was for nothing. And believe me sometimes I do feel like that too. And then I have to remind my self.

I think what keeps me from God is my fear/pride. I want to be strong and independent and show the devil that he can’t win but of course that is not possible without God. It is so so so hard to believe that God is okay with our flaws and that he wants to help us even when it seems like we should be on GO but seem to not even be READY.

I’ve learned to not pray for specifics. I pray “if it be your will.” Sometimes God has other plans for us. I was at a job for 20 years and had done my managers work several times in her absence and was told I was pegged for her job. Long story short. I didn’t get it. A gal who had been there 4 years got it. I had never been so mad or defeated. A job came up in a school I swore I would never work at. My main boss made me shadow the gal there. I fell in love with it! I don’t have the stress the other job would have held and make more than the gal who got the manager job! I am surrounded by great God lovin folks and i am great full for Gods gift of an unanswered prayer. When my mom passed I was devistated but I always asked God if it be your will to heal her and if not please don’t let her suffer. She had ovarian cancer. She never so much took a Tylenol! Praise God! I don’t know what you want but I will pray that you get what you need. ❤️

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