The physician-theologian Luke recorded a very extraordinary narrative in chapter 13:10-13 of his Gospel document. The narrative report begins by stating that Jesus had been teaching in a synagogue on a Sabbath day. It was both his custom, and practice to teach on the Sabbath day.
Luke records that while Jesus was teaching, a woman appeared in the synagogue who had a very interesting medico-spiritual condition. She had a Spirit of infirmity (weakness) that had been with her for eighteen years; and this Spirit of infirmity had caused her to have a chronic condition that made her “bowed together”. She was bent over in two. The Greek word here is sugkupto and it means to be completely overcome. Luke further adds that as a result of sugkupto she could not or was not able to unbend or lift up.
Luke states that when Jesus saw her he called to her and said unto her, “Woman you are loosed of your infirmity” and then he laid hands upon her and she immediately became upright and glorified God.
There are three elements or points if you will that must be noticed: (1) She was within the synagogue on the Sabbath when Jesus was teaching. She was in the right place and at the right time. She was in the place where the Word of God was being taught by God . (2) He saw her with complete accurate intuitive perception. He observed her unusual condition. He saw her as a unique person. He saw her with his perfect understanding of the human condition, and that her condition was chronic and old. (3) He knew that the Spirit of infirmity had taken control of her life. He knew that she had learned to live within the oppressive sphere of her condition. He knew that this woman had come to identify herself with her condition. He could see the crushing reality that controlled her life.
Jesus called to the woman. Imagine the impact of his call to her. Please note that He was not ashamed of her condition. Jesus calls those who are chronically under a spirit of weakness that seeks to destroy their lives. Such are the lives of those who have been under a spirit of infirmity from childhood sexual abuse.
The victims of childhood sexual abuse oftentimes feel completely overcome by the unspeakable acts that they were forced to suffer. The victim of childhood sexual abuse has been completely overcome by the spirit of infirmity to such an extent that she too may identify herself with the infirmity which may also be chronic. It is the enforced secrecy of the abusive events that perpetuates their longevity. It is the fear of unimaginable retaliation that keep the child-victim from telling an authority figure. She is told that no one would believe her if she told of the abusive events. She is therefore forced into a world of disconnection from self and others. A world where trust of oneself and the world has been shattered.
The therapeutic intervention of Jesus centered upon a creative speech act that sets her free immediately. Jesus said to her, “Woman, you are loosed of your spirit of infirmity!” Notice, he identified her by gender and by her new condition. “You are” takes her out of the past and places her within the liberating sphere of the powerful Word of God in the present. Victims of childhood sexual abuse oftentimes live in the past within the sphere of the present. This woman had lived in her condition for eighteen years.
“You are” is an emphatic statement that the past has been forever suspended and that what was has been completely overcome by the powerful reality of her new condition. She was loosed of her condition. To be loosed means that one who was formally bound has been set free. God himself had loosed her out from the stranglehold of the oppressive spirit of infirmity. The powerful Jesus can still set free those who feel or believe that they are worthless or too bad to be helped. He is not ashamed of you! Do not allow the shame of childhood sexual abuse to keep you bowed over. Stop owning the shame that was forced upon your life. It wasn’t your fault.
Dear ones, who have suffered childhood sexual abuse, give that shame that you have come to live with to the powerful Jesus. “Woman, you are loosed” of your condition is an open invitation to any woman, girl, or child who has been or is now a victim of childhood sexual abuse. Remember, it wasn’t your fault and you did not deserve the abuse. You did nothing to cause such horrible deeds.
God loves you and he has a great plan for your life!
Copyright 2011 Josiah Rich Ministries
All rights reserved. No part of this blog may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage retrieval system, without permission in writing from it’s author. (11/09/11)