Ministry Resources

Facing A Debilitating Illness

Author: The Journey Online Team

Luke 13:10-17

10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God. 14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.” 15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?” 17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.


We learn many things about Jesus, His nature, and power as we read through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). Because Jesus was God in the flesh, we can say at the same time that we learn from the life of Jesus what God himself is like. Throughout the gospel stories, we see Jesus healing the sick. He had compassion on the afflicted, those tormented by sickness and evil spirits, and he would heal and deliver them. These repeated stories from the Gospels leave us with an undeniable truth, that God in Heaven who revealed himself to man in sending His Son into the world, is a God of compassion whose ultimate desire is to alleviate all pain and suffering on earth (this will happen when Jesus returns and the fullness of God’s Kingdom is revealed here on earth).

This poor woman in our story had suffered for eighteen years. She was crippled. She wanted to walk again. She wanted to be like other people. I am sure that she wanted to be able to take care of herself. She was not only crippled but she was bent over so she could not straighten up. She was in a very difficult and humiliating condition for many years. She wanted to stand up straight and walk again. The story tells us that this was caused by Satan. It was an evil spirit that was attacking her body and holding her in this crippled position. The Bible does not tell us how she found herself in this condition. We don’t know why all this pain came upon her life.  All we know was that Satan was doing everything in his power to afflict her and destroy her.


When Jesus comes to us, it is not so important how or why we are in the condition we are in. Jesus comes to us in compassion and in His grace, He comes to heal us and deliver us. He is full of compassion and He passes our way with the purpose of setting us free. If we are bound by the Devil, when we meet Jesus and call on His name, He is there with all the power of heaven to heal us and deliver us. If we are sick, Jesus is there to heal our broken bodies. If we are bound by some other mental affliction or physical addiction, Jesus comes to set us free.

Jesus said, “Woman you are set free from your infirmity.” Jesus comes to set us free. He comes to make us whole. He brought the Kingdom of God to earth to reveal to us what it is like to submit to the rule of God. He was showing to us what is like when we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts. When we submit to the rule of Jesus over our lives, we enter the Kingdom of God and by faith, we experience the blessing of being in that Kingdom. In His Kingdom there is liberty. This is why Jesus told this woman that she is free from her infirmity. This is why Jesus wants to speak freedom into your life.

Let me encourage you today. If the Devil has afflicted you, God’s Son can set you free. His Kingdom’s power is available to heal and deliver. The name of Jesus is powerful. He wants to straighten out your life. He wants to give you a life that honors God. The Bible says, “Then He put His hands on her, immediately she straightened up and praised God.” Jesus wants to lay His healing hands upon your life and make you well in body, mind, and soul. He wants to hear your praises of thanksgiving for all that He has done for you.


I don’t know what has you bound. Your life may be in such disarray that you are like this woman, bent over with the cares and afflictions of life. Maybe this has gone on for a long time. The Devil has you bound. You may wonder if there is any hope. Let Jesus lay His hands upon you. His hands are healing hands. His power will touch you and flow into you and make you whole. His power and grace will touch you and make you free.

The Bible tells us that we are all cripples. We all have been bound by the sins we have committed. The Bible places us all in the same condition. Because of our sin, we are all living in spiritual death being separated from God our Creator. The Bible tells us: For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NIV).

We all have sinned and have experienced the payment of sin. Sin brings heartache and misery into our lives. But Jesus came to save us. He came to give us the gift of eternal life. He died on the cross for our sins. He took our place so that we can be forgiven. Three days later He arose from the dead and conquered sin and death. He wants to set us free from our sins and make us whole.


If you are sick in body let Jesus lay His hands on you. If you are bound by an addiction Jesus’ healing hands can set you free. If you now realize that you are a sinner in need of God’s forgiveness, ask Him to forgive you. The Bible says to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and we shall be saved. You must put all your trust in Him as your Savior and Lord. When He sets you free, you must then begin to follow Him with all of your heart.

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