Doing Life: Loving the Afflicted

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” He laid His hands upon her; and immediately she was made erect again, and began glorifying God.” Luke 13:13, NASB

I wonder why she was there. This “daughter of Abraham … whom Satan … bound for eighteen long years” (Lk. 13:16), happened to be at a synagogue where Jesus taught. Considering the Pharisees’ typical attitude, I don’t think she was drawn to that place due to their welcome or compassion. But there she stood–severely crooked and bent in half. Unable to look anyone in the eye, somehow she found her way to this place of worship … for what?

Maybe she heard Jesus was in town. Maybe she hoped He’d visit the synagogue. Then suddenly, she heard His voice.

Jesus “called her over and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed from your sickness'” (Lk. 13:12).

Filled with compassion and power, Jesus’ words brought healing. This misshapen woman stood straight after eighteen unspeakably long years. Once again, she looked others in the eye. Immediately upon being healed, she “began glorifying God” (Lk. 13:13).

In this brief account, we see a Savior who cared and loved so well He wasn’t afraid to disrupt the establishment. He wasn’t intimidated by the religious leaders or afraid of their condemnation. Completely wise, righteous, and confident, the Lord Jesus Christ healed someone in desperate need. Despite the Sabbath, He overlooked the Pharisees’ interpretation of the Law and proceeded to fulfill it:

“‘What commandment is the foremost of all?’ Jesus answered, ‘The foremost is … YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH. The second is this, YOU shall LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF. There is no other commandment greater than these.'” Mark 12:28-31

Jesus’ ability to do the right thing every single time astounds me. He possessed absolute authority, never dodging difficulty. He looked evil, self-righteousness, and religiosity squarely in the eye, totally toppling every argument. He peered into men’s hearts and judged accurately. He never struggled over what to do because He is “the power of God and the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24).

Dear friend, do you ever wonder what’s right in given situations? I do. Yet I firmly believe the more we look to Christ and His example, the more we’ll understand what pleases Him. He saw every circumstance through unpolluted eyes of love. He saw–He loved–the afflicted. While Jesus’ view didn’t sync with those who touted authority, their crabby, selfish, self-righteous perspective didn’t stop Him.

He just kept on loving people.

And by His grace, I want to shine His love in this crazy, mixed-up, evil world. I want to see the afflicted, ministering to them one by one. Some of you already do this so well, but if not, will you join me in pursuing this goal? We can stand straight as people God has healed … because He has. One by one, the Lord loved and freed us from satan’s power, enabling us to see truth.

Let’s glorify Him by loving the afflicted.

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