“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!” ” Luke 13:10 -12 (NLT)
I love this scripture because of those three words – “he saw her.” Lance Witt, in his book “Replenish,” brings out this point vividly by saying “Many of the stories from the Gospels are not about Jesus’ encounters with the crowds. They are about him paying attention to the individual.”
Try this simple challenge…read the scripture above and in three minutes, list your observations. Here are mine:
- Jesus was doing what he was called to do
- He saw the woman in her present state
- Did he know how long she was bent over? What caused it?
- It says he saw her twice in this passage
- He saw, he brought her close, he healed
- It was the Sabbath – no, no to heal on the Sabbath
- It was in the place of worship – lady continued to pursue God after eighteen yrs of sickness
- How did Jesus see her if she was bent over in a crowd? Maybe, he was looking for her
- She couldn’t stand straight up – how many other people appeared straight up and Jesus looked past them?
Honest, that was three minutes. (Even corrected a few typos for your benefit.) Lance’s statement about the individual is tremendous and a part of our daily life that needs to be addressed. There is a time for meetings and corporate gatherings. More importantly, there needs to be time for the individual.
In looking back on my list of observations, which one jumps out to you the most? For me, the question of Jesus being able to see her if she was bent over intrigues me. How could she make eye contact if she was facing the ground? How would Jesus even see her in a crowd? In a world today where we work so hard to be noticed, here is a lady who after eighteen years, understood that she was not going to be noticed. She was going to be overlooked and put aside by those looking for the attention of the teacher. Every other day, this was true. Not this day. Today, the teacher put others aside for the one that wasn’t being noticed. For the one who still pursued God when for eighteen years, He hadn’t healed her. For the one who came to the place of worship when she could have easily stayed home and said, “I’ll honor God in the privacy and safety of my own home.” This lady amazes me for all the times I look in the mirror and complain about how “difficult” it is.
Here is my challenge for you today – Are you the teacher or the lady? Do you need to slow down and notice the person that no one else is noticing today? Do you need to create margin in your day to show God’s love to someone who needs it? Are you the “lady” who demonstrates the perseverance to continue to serve God when it looks like just another day? Are you the one who is “standing tall” on the outside and “bent over and broken” on the inside.
All these challenges are tough. Yet, today is the day that He sees you…