“One Sabbath day as Jesus was teaching in a synagogue, He saw a woman who had been crippled by an evil spirit. She had been bent double for eighteen years and was unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness!” Then He touched her, and instantly she could stand straight. Oh, how she praised God!” (Lk 13:10-13; TLB)
This is a wonderful testimony, how Jesus teaches the Word, heals the sick and rebukes His enemies, all in the same time. Only our Lord can do all these things in the same time! It was the ‘Sabbath day’, the same as our Sunday service. Jesus was teaching the congregation the Word of God. He then sees a woman there who was very sick. She was bent over and could not stand straight. She has been in this condition for 18 years. Her family, the pastors and the members of her ‘church’, had no hope for her. They viewed her sickness as incurable. No one was praying for her or encouraging her to hope that one day she will be ‘normal’ like them, healed and happy. Nobody had faith that this unnamed woman can one day join the choir. Everybody who came to church ignored her or maybe gave her some food. That’s all. But this sad, sick, ugly, lonely and hopeless woman decided to continue to come to church. This is called faith! Her body was bent but her heart was getting straight. She knew that in the presence of the Holy Spirit anything can happen. For as long as she breathes, she will come to church! This was the key to her miracle! She knew that nothing is impossible for God to do. She knew that God does not discriminate. Staying at home or in the hospital was useless. Coming to the presence of God opened the door for the precious miracle. For 18 years this woman has been punished by the devil with a sickness that doctors could not cure. We don’t know why it was so. But we know that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy, the captives are freed and the hungry are filled…
Then suddenly ‘Jesus saw her’! Oh, the blessed look of the Master! May Jesus see you! He interrupted His sermon and called the woman forth. In the full view of the congregation, she came crawling like a worm. She came to Jesus!!! This is faith! If Jesus commands you to do anything, do not excuse yourself. Just obey! Faith has no excuses! Jesus said: “Dear woman, you are healed of your sickness … You are loosed from your infirmity!” Then He touched her and instantly she could stand straight. Immediately she started praising God! She sang and she danced! If she was in Warri, she could have said: “Oghene – Doh…Migwo – Doh…”
This is what I called a holy disturbance in the church! I love that! Jesus loves people more than we love our church protocol. Jesus looks at the heart! Her body was bent and nobody saw that in her heart she made a vow: ‘God, if You heal me, if I can stand straight, I will praise and worship You forever!’ Her praise was released from the crippled tight and suffocating vessel. “Imela e…”
Jesus said: ‘you are loosed from your infirmity’. This word ‘loosed’ means to completely free someone from any bondage or to divorce that one from the devil. Her sickness was ‘an infirmity’, a spiritual bondage that manifested as a crippling condition of the body. Her ‘spiritual husband’ was an evil spirit. He bent her! He tried to possess her! He tried to conquer her body and her soul. For 18 long years the demon tried to force her to kiss his ugly face. But he failed! Dr. Jesus healed her! Judge Jesus separated her from the criminal spirit husband and ‘married’ her Himself. She became a born again, free, healthy, strong, happy member of the Bride of Christ. Hallelujah!
What are the lessons for us? These are simple lessons but very powerful. Come to church! Serve God in the church! Even when you are sick, have faith that by coming to church, you can encounter Jesus Christ and you shall be healed. Child of God, even if your situation seems hopeless, there is always hope with God! Jesus said that when two or three of us gather in His name, He will be there, in our midst, doing wonders. Do not stop praying! Do not stop believing in Jesus! What do you lose if you believe in Him? Nothing, only your doubts! God hears your prayers. God answers your prayers. No matter how long it takes, continue to have faith in God. One day, Jesus will see you, call you and touch you. In the midst of many, Jesus will find you and bless you. Let your faith rise. Finally, bless God if the church you attend is a living church where the pastors preach the Word of God. But if the church you attend is more like a night club, business center, bank, comedy show or entertainment place, run away from there! Go to God’s House! Go to Jesus! Look unto Jesus! He is not dead! He is risen! He is alive forevermore! Jesus is the Lord!
(In the picture, one of the sisters in our church, praising God with dancing)