The “Bent Double” Woman
In Luke 13:10-17, Jesus loosed a woman whom Satan had bound for quite a long time. Verses 11-13 say, “And behold, there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit; and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. And when Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your sickness.’ And He laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God.”
This woman in a synagogue could not straighten up because of an evil spirit. The Greek for straighten up is anakupto. It means “to unbend, to raise or lift oneself up.” We all have some type of sickness that the enemy uses to keep us from standing upright. It is only through the touch of Jesus that we will be able to rise up, in particular at the end of this age when there is a darkness rising over our land that can be felt.
This woman is a picture of those in the church who are bound by demons, making them unable to live a righteous, upright life that brings glory to God. Hearing the Lord’s call to His people to “arise, shine, for your light has come” (Isaiah 60:1-3), the devil continues to keep us bound through his numerous strongholds. The good news is that if we will seek the Lord, He can set us free. His power will soon flow mightily through His faithful hands that are being raised up for “such a time as this.”
In verses 14-17, after Jesus miraculously heals this lady, the synagogue official becomes indignant because He did it on the wrong day. Jesus then rebukes him saying, “You hypocrites, does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead him away to water him? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham as she is, whom Satan has bound for eighteen long years, should she not have been released from this bond on the Sabbath day?”
Jesus removed the chains of Satan on a woman who could not stand upright (a picture of not being able to walk in righteousness), and the synagogue official had a fit because it wasn’t done on the right day. Envy and jealousy usually show their ugly face from those who are threatened by the authority of Christ in others. Wanting to be first, they cannot stand it when someone else gains the people’s praise. Like Saul, an evil spirit quickly gains a stronghold within their heart.
In speaking to the disciples about the events surrounding His return, Jesus said in Luke 21:28, “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” It’s time for God’s people to “straighten up,” glorifying God through their obedient lives. We must turn our eyes upon Jesus and repent, preparing our hearts by faith for the One who gives us the power to do as He commands.