Read Luke 13:10-17
George W. Bush was president, the movie, Finding Nemo ranked number one in the box office, velour track suits were fashionable, comfy loungewear, a gallon of gas cost $1.59, and basketball legend, Michael Jordan, retired his jersey. Do you remember some of those things from 18 years ago? Eighteen years is a long time, almost two decades. We use it as a measurement from birth to adulthood.
The main character in today’s passage measured it by pain and sickness.
It’s no surprise that Luke, who was a doctor, documented so many physical details about the woman’s sickness. It’s almost like we get a glimpse into Dr. Luke’s medical chart.
Symptoms: bent over, double, unable to straighten up at all.
Cause: satanic spirit of bondage. Duration: eighteen years.
Satan kept the nameless woman bent over in pain. Isn’t that just like the enemy to keep one from looking up? With a gaze fixed downward and a body contorted, she was captive to Satan’s evil schemes. She was held in a twisted sort of bondage for eighteen years until she heard the call of Jesus. Luke 13:12 tells us that Jesus saw her and called her over. Powerless to see the Savior’s face, she staggered over to meet Him and heard the word which held all power and authority, “Freed!” Her former crippled body, released from the grip of the Enemy, stood straight and firm and her eyes looked up and she glorified God!
Scientists say that even mature plants bend toward the strongest light. Satan appears as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and in our world we can see evidence of bent, broken people. Satan’s plan is to hurl every evil missile at us to knock us down and keep us from looking upward. The Enemy’s tactic is to keep us bent over for as long as possible so that our focus is on the disease and not on the Deliverer.
However, as believers, we have been set free, enabling us to stand, straight and firm, with our eyes fixed on Jesus. Paul admonishes us three times in Ephesians 6 to stand firm. That should be every believer’s motto.
If ever there was a time for believers in Christ to stand firm against the schemes of Satan, it is now. As 1 Corinthians 16:13 commands us:
“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith.”
What is the prognosis for your spirit? Are you looking down or heavenward? The only way we can stand is to bend our hearts toward Jesus, the Light of the world, the strongest Light.