A Crippled Woman Healed

Luke 13:10-17 - And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. 11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. 12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. 13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. 14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. 15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? 16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? 17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.


I.    Jesus is teaching in the temple on the Sabbath. 

A.     This is a very remarkable thing: that the Jews allowed him to teach. 

1.       It seems evident there were very many teachers in the temple in those days, and many different issues were addressed by the various teachers. 

2.       I don’t think the rulers could stop Jesus from teaching, as he had power from God to do his father’s will. 

B.     It could also be stated that Jesus was often found in the temple on the Sabbath, as many of his miracles were performed on the Sabbath, and in the temple. 

1.       If Jesus considered it important to attend temple services, who are we to think otherwise? 

2.       Assembling with the people of God is very important and there is no substitute in Bible study at home, or in religious devotions at home. 

3.       Jesus taught on the Sabbath day in the temple, and we teach when we attend services the importance of those services, or we teach those services are not important by our absence. 


II.    Here is a woman who attended temple services, even though she was very grievously afflicted. 

A.     Some people miss services for the least affliction, while others come when they are so sick they pass their sickness to everybody. 

1.       There should be some sort of balance, but it is sometimes hard to know where that balance is. 

2.       I know people who miss services at the “drop of a hat”, thinking little of missing the worship of Almighty God. 

a.       Some are too tired and need their rest, too involved in the world and can’t concentrate, too grieving and can’t come, too “whatever” and can’t. 

b.       In reality, when we are too involved in this world, we should give some things up, because all these worldly things will soon pass away and we will be left with nothing. 

B.     The spirit of infirmity is not demon possession, rather an infirmity or weakness or feebleness of the vital essence of the body. 

1.       While this infirmity is not demon possession, it is an affliction Satan has used to bind her, as Christ relates in Luke 13:16. 

2.       This weakness had been upon the woman 18 years, but it is not stated whether the infirmity came upon her suddenly or progressed slowly. 

3.       It is essentially true the weakness that caused her to be doubled over consumed her body and is an integral part of her body, just as her spirit is an integral part of her body. 

C.     The woman did not come to Christ and ask for healing, rather it was Christ who saw her and called her to him. 

1.       John 5:7 – Jesus called the impotent man by the pool before the man came to him.  Jesus calls all sinners to him before any of them come to him, as they are dead in trespasses and sins and cannot even know they are dead, therefore cannot and will not come. 

2.       The woman came to Christ. 

3.       We know she did because she was close enough that Christ could touch her. 

D.     The woman was very interested in taking care of spiritual matters and of worshipping God, then Christ took care of her physical deformities. 

1.       Many try to take care of physical matters, then take care of spiritual matters, but it doesn’t work that way.

2.       There will always be physical, material and worldly matters to take care of. 

3.       This world will see to that. 

4.       Each person must determine within themselves they will put God first, before everything else. 

E.      Psalms 146:8 states, The LORD openeth the eyes of the blind: the LORD raiseth them that are bowed down: the LORD loveth the righteous: 

1.       At what point was the woman healed – when Jesus spoke to her or when he laid hands on her? 

2.       The call of God assured the woman of his healing touch. 

3.       When God calls sinners to himself by the wooing of the Holy Spirit, lays a burden upon them of their sins and wickedness and their eternity without him, they will come and experience the touch of the master. 

4.       Sinner, if God has called you and you have the burden of your sins upon you, do as this crippled woman did, and come to Christ that he might touch you. The longer you tarry, the longer you remain in sins. 

5.       The crippled woman came immediately to Christ, without waiting, because she longed to be free from the crippled body. 

6.       When the sinner longs to be free from his sins and find comfort in the forgiveness of Christ, they will immediately come, recognizing their helplessness and yielding themselves to the power of God to heal them of their sins. 

F.      Ecclesiastes 7:13 states, Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which he hath made crooked? 

1.       Though man cannot make that straight which God has made crooked, yet the grace of God can make that straight which the sin of man has made crooked. 

2.       There is no power able to change that which God determines. 

G.     For the believers. 

1.       Psalms 38:6 proclaims, I am troubled; I am bowed down greatly; I go mourning all the day long. 

a.       Believers are often weighted down with unbelief and lack of faith, tied to this world and all its troubles, and not finding any relief in the circumstances of this life. 

b.       Many believers lack real true joy and happiness in the Lord, and constantly find themselves full of grief because of their sins, lack of spirituality and have no answers to the earthly and heavenly dilemmas they daily face. 

2.       Christ can give relief from all our troubles. 

a.       The Holy Spirit is calling all believers to full faith and hope in Christ. 

b.       Believers know there is hope in Christ, yet often put off coming to Christ and accepting his relief. 

c.       Instead we prefer to wallow in our own misery, as we try to work out suitable solutions. 

d.       It doesn’t work, rather we get deeper and deeper in the pit of despair.  [1]


III.    The ruler of the Synagogue protested. 

A.     Some of his underlings probably told him Jesus had healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath, therefore he came to take charge of the situation. 

1.       He forgot God is the real ruler of the temple. 

2.       He thought his position as ruler of the synagogue took precedence over the ruler of the temple. 

B.     The ruler of the synagogue trivialized the healing of the crippled woman because the healing took place on the Sabbath day. 

1.       He apparently did not think it was wrong to heal in the temple. 

2.       There doesn’t seem to be any rebuke for any healing that took place in the temple. 

3.       The ruler apparently spoke to the people, not to Christ. 

C.     It would seem this Sabbath day healing in the temple would cause each person to reconsider their doctrinal position, instead it steeled them in their error. 

1.       We must all be very careful not to fight Christ when circumstances and doctrines seem to be against us. 

2.       It just might be that Christ is dealing kindly with us in revealing these contradictions of circumstances and conflicting doctrines to us. 

a.       I remember going through a time of doubting my salvation. 

1.)    This doubt forced me to the Bible, where I discovered the book of I John, which, I discovered, gives plain spiritual methods of discovering evidence of salvation. 

2.)    I know I am saved, not because of my experience of salvation, but according to what God’s word says regarding the fruits and the result of salvation. 

b.       I have had experiences of financial difficulties, which forced me to consider I Timothy 3:3, …not greedy of filthy lucre… 

1.)    If I am greedy of money, I am not qualified to preach or pastor. 

2.)    I came to understand that God feels my infirmity (Hebrews 4:15) concerning providing for my family, and I can trust him to do it, as long as I completely depend on him to do it, and I do what he tells me to do. 

c.       There have been times when my children were not exactly as I thought they should be, which forced me to rightly apply I Timothy 3:4,5. 

1.)    One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 

2.)    I was completely helpless to change the mind of my child, but I knew it should be changed, and only God could do it. 

3.)    I applied that principle to pastoring. 

4.)    I was completely helpless to pastor or help the people God had put under my care. 

5.)    I needed God to make the difference. 

6.)    That is what is necessary, not necessarily more intelligence or more skill on my part. 

3.       On chastening and blessings. 

a.       If God is chastening you, do not fail to submit to him, and learn the lesson before you. 

b.       If God is blessing you, do not think you have achieved these blessings because of your good works, but realize all blessings come freely from God, who loves us and freely, lovingly, and willingly gives us all necessities and luxuries. 

D.     The ruler completely misread the situation. 

1.       He not only trivialized the miracle, but informed the people they could come and be healed (as if healing were nothing at all!) six days a week, because that was when work should be done. 

2.       The ruler did not realize that Christ had called the woman to him, the woman did not come to Christ before she was called. 

3.       The law did not expressly forbid healing or performing miracles on the Sabbath day, but this ruler (and other rulers as well) had added to their own law, not realizing their law excluded God or took precedence over God. 


IV.    The answer of Christ. 

A.     He called the man a hypocrite. 

1.       The outward actions of this man revealed the contradiction of his heart. 

2.       The ruler of the synagogue (and the Pharisees, Scribes, and other religious leaders) were in reality against Christ, but they pretended to defend the law of Moses. 

3.       But they had substituted their own laws for the law of Moses, forcing the people into their dominion and away from the dominion of God. 

4.       The religious leaders did not want Christ to heal on any day, and would have gladly refrained him from so doing if it were possible. 

B.     Christ gave a practical example for a spiritual solution. 

1.       Everybody knew it was good to feed and water cattle on the Sabbath, even though the animal was resting from six days of labor. 

2.       Christ informs the ruler it is more correct to heal on the day of rest than on the day of labor. 

3.       Just as cattle are refreshed on their day of rest, so it is good for the people of God to be refreshed from their physical trials on their day of rest and worship. 

C.     The king of Nineveh made this proclamation in Jonah 3:7, And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water: 

1.       This commandment is forcing dumb animals to fast on their day of rest, which is unusual to say the least. 

2.       Of course, the purpose is not to be cruel to the animals, but to reflect before a most holy God, the sorrow of heart of the people, that God would see their repentance and stay his destruction. 

D.     Christ declares this healed woman is a daughter of Abraham, a much higher estate than a dumb animal, who should be feed and watered on the Sabbath. 

1.       Jesus relates the woman had been bound in this affliction for eighteen years, therefore was in much greater need of being loosed than dumb animals who were only confined for one day. 

2.       Jesus also states that Satan had bound her, therefore it was even more appropriate that God loose her on the Sabbath day. 

3.       Christ healing her in the temple reveals even more the justness of the healing performed on her. 


V.    The result of this confrontation. 

A.     The adversaries of Christ. 

1.       They were ashamed, dishonored, and had nothing to reply, because they were clearly wrong. 

2.       They knew it, the people knew it, but they did not repent and submit themselves, instead hardening their own wicked hearts and determine more than ever to stop Christ once and for all. 

3.       They did not have proper shame, that works toward true repentance. 

4.       Instead they had shame that was wrought from pride, which reveals itself in stubbornness and leads to final and complete destruction. 

B.     The people. 

1.       They rejoiced in the victories Christ had given to the crippled woman. 

2.       The common people did not rejoice at the put down of the rules of the synagogue, rather rejoiced in the good things Christ did among them. 

3.       The common people hold no malice toward their erroneous leaders, but willingly leave them in their position, and continue to follow and obey them because that is what God wants them to do. 

4.       Leaders should be very careful to lead the people God puts in their care toward God, and not away from him. 

5.       God’s children want to follow Christ and will willingly follow those that lead them toward him. 

6.       Leaders should never take more upon them than God gives, and should never attempt to lead God’s children where they want them to go, but always lead them where God wants them to go. 

C.     There should have been no difference, but all should have rejoiced because the crippled woman was permanently healed. 

1.       The majority is not always right, but the truth should always be sought after, longed for and submitted to. 

2.       It is not always right to follow the multitude, but it is always right to follow Jesus and his word.  [2]

[1] Preached to here 12/09/2007 IBC Sunday Morning

[2] Preached to here 12/09/2007 IBC Sunday Evening