Do you remember the song, “The 12 Days of Christmas”? I used to sing it all year long when I was a kid. I was thinking about a Christmas series to do with you all and I thought it would be interesting to spin one of my favorite Christmas songs into a Bible study. Instead of a handsome true love giving us 12 days of gifts, I wanted to focus on something deeper. Something more spiritual. Unknowingly, we’re all attempting to fill our hearts and souls with replicates, shadows and bootleg versions of the greatest love of all: God’s love. We settle for love pouring from broken vessels (our friends, families, boyfriends, husbands, but God never intended us to live this way. Jesus came into this world as the embodiment and image of God’s love. God is our True Love, ladies. In a season where we acknowledge Christmas, I want us to also acknowledge Jesus the Christ. He is, after all, the reason for every season.
Nestled into Luke chapter thirteen there are three verses about a woman who received healing from Jesus. We often read them quickly, but I want us to take another look at them, together.
As He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath, a woman was there who had been disabled by a spirit for over 18 years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, He called out to her,, “Woman, you are free of your disability.” Then He laid His hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God.
There is no name to identify the woman in this portion of scripture.We don’t know how old she was or where her family was the day she encountered Jesus. Sometimes, the writer in me wants all the details when I read parables like this, but God has a reason for leaving them out; the missing details make room for the larger themes God wants us to see.
The most spectacular part of this woman’s story is not the details we can’t see or her inability to stand upright. The most spectacular detail of this story is that Jesus sees her.
One of the greatest gifts we have as women is that Jesus still see us. He sees exactly where you are. He sees, with precision, your inability to stand upright. Maybe you are mourning the death of a family member or the death of a close friend. Maybe, today, you are burdened by an unanswered prayer. Maybe you are weakly walking wondering how to be a better Mom to your children. Maybe an illness has stricken you.
Remember, you are seen.
The gift we have through Jesus begins in this clause “He called out to her”. My friends, through God’s love–through God’s Son–we are still seen and being called. Jesus beckoned her out of her illness into a life changing experience. Jesus made her stand and stand tall.
The Bible is filled with miraculous experiences regular people, like you and I, had with God. They are here to remind us that Jesus heals. No circumstance last forever unless God decides it should. God can change your life in an instance if He wants to. Verse 13 says, “Then He laid His hands on her, and instantly she was restored and began to glorify God”. This season when we’re so used to making spirits bright, slow down to think of what has caused your spirit to prostrate itself downward. Take some time for yourself and ask Jesus to touch you and make you strong enough to STAND.
When He does, don’t forget to begin to glorify God. After all, healing is one of the gifts your True Love has given to you.