21 The Woman Bent double





Luke l3:10-17 (NIV)                                                                                   

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 ruler 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 his 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.

(John 7:21-Jesus' commentary) (N1V)

Jesus said to them, "I did one miracle, and you are all astonished 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a child on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a child can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing the whole man on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, and make a right judgment. "





1.     Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social status).


2. What was the immediate, obvious need?


3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?

      The person in need?  Others?  Jesus?

      How was it expressed?


4.     Describe the actions or process leading to the healing; that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, com­mands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom?


5. Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? Non-verbally?   Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.


6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?


7. What were the reactions to the healing?


8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?




This account seems to address some important questions about healing" the time and place for healing, and the matter in which it is done.

1.     Where did this healing take place? When Jesus saw her, he called her" forward." What does that mean, from what you might know about synagogues? Would this also have caused some indignancy, in addition to the question about healing on the Sabbath? Are there right and wrong places, or better places for healing to take place? Is, for example, Lourdes a special place, and, if so, why?

2.     In the eyes of the synagogue ruler, healing was work, so healing on the Sabbath was breaking the Law. How does that apply to the emergency room on Sunday? Would you schedule elective surgery for Sunday? Is there a fight or wrong time, or a better time for healing? Other than for confronting the Jewish establishment, do you think there is a reason why so many of Jesus' healings took place on the Sabbath?

3. When Luke says, "crippled by a spirit" and "whom Satan has kept bound" he implies there is an [evil] spirit of infirmity from which the woman needs to be set flee. How am I to understand that? What is the connection, if any, between evil and sickness or deformity?

4. What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?