Some of us live with chronic pain or disability as part of our daily lives. All of us know that our bodies are vulnerable, subject to illness or injury. In today’s gospel, Jesus heals a woman who has lived with a disability for eighteen years.
There are times when we wish for a miraculous healing, a sudden change in our physical state. The miraculous healing isn’t the real heart of this text, however. When challenged for healing on the sabbath, Jesus says, “Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” (Luke 13:16).
Jesus set her free. He set her free to live, to have a place in society. He set her free by healing her body, but her physical transformation was God’s way of granting her freedom. Freedom might look like miraculous healing. It might look like a wheelchair or a cane that enables a person to move around. It might look like a ramp instead of stairs. It might look like a cochlear implant, or a replacement joint. Even small tools like eyeglasses grant us freedom, although we often forget they’re even there.
Healing comes in different ways. Freedom takes many forms. Salvation may look different than we expect. But surely, God will set free all of God’s children. God will save each of us.
Excerpted From sundaysandseasons.com. Copyright © 2019 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.