Sharon Wilharm Bible Storyteller

The Disabled Woman

While Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, he noticed a woman who’d been disabled for eighteen years. She was bent over and unable to straighten her back.

When Jesus saw her, he called her over to him and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.”  (Luke 13:12)

He laid hands on her and immediately she was healed and able to stand up straight. The first thing she did was to glorify God.

It’s a short and simple story with a happy ending, only it didn’t end with her healing. The ruler of the synagogue got upset because Jesus healed on the Sabbath. According to him, Jesus healing the woman counted as work, and work was forbidden on the Sabbath. 

Jesus called out the religious leaders, calling them hypocrites. He pointed out that they untie their oxen or donkeys and lead them to water, even on the Sabbath. If the donkeys and oxen could be loosed from their bonds on the Sabbath, why couldn’t this woman be loosed from the disability that was binding her? 

How often do we see the religious leaders caught up in the minutiae of their manmade rules and missing the big picture of God’s plan? Are we ever guilty of doing the same? Do we focus on temporal things that don’t matter in the big scheme, or do we focused on things with eternal value? 

Let us be like the woman in this story. Though she’d been disabled for eighteen years, she didn’t let it keep her from attending services. And when she was healed, she worshipped and praised. 

Read about the disabled woman: Luke 13:10-17

The disabled woman Bible story

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