What is the definition of freedom? We may say, the unrestrained use of all the powers which God hath given us. Jesus stated in (Jh.14:14),” If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Before all the powers that God hath given us can be used for Him the shackles of sin and the power of Satan must be broken, (II.Cor7:1) tells us “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”
The unceasing and steady aim of every Spirited filled person should be perfection, perfection in all things, we need the the love of God and man, we need perfection of heart, and feeling, and emotion, we need Perfection in his words, and plans, and dealings with men, we need Perfection in our prayers, and in our submission to the will of God
No man is a friend of God who will endose a state of sin, and who is satisfied and contented that he is not as holy as God is holy.
Any man who has no desire to be perfect as God is, and who does not make it his daily and constant aim to be as perfect as God, he may set it down as proving that he has no true religion in his life.
The woman before us here, “whom Satan had bound,” and whom Christ set at liberty, is a perfect example of how a sin-bound person may enter into the kingdom of God. Let us note (v.17) “and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.” This woman was Crooked according to (v.11) “Bowed together.” She had been bound by Satan for eighteen years (v.16).
Completely deformed by the power of the Devil. It is always the Devil’s business, wherever he can, to bow down the souls of men to the earth. Note what Satan said to the Lord about Job,”But put forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face.” (Job1:11).
Sin never fails to make a crook in the will and thoughts of those under its dominion, therefore, “ Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” (I.Pet.5:8).
There are people who are bound by the love of the world that they cannot lift their heads toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said in (Jh.12:32) ,” if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.”
If people will come to the place of worship seeking him, they will secure more than what they were seeking, God will manifest himself to us in ways we did not anticipate, He will show us the path we had never seen before, He will take away the burden we thought we should bring home on our heart, He will fill us with the peace and hope that passes all our understanding, He will open to us gates of wisdom and joy we never thought to enter.
Many are Helpless in this world to day.“She could in no wise lift up herself” (v.11). It was utterly impossible for her to break the cords that chained her face to the earth.
She had been so long bowed down that her deformity had become fixed, like a crooked tree of eighteen years old.
She was perfectly conscious of her outward disfigurement, and had often tried to straighten herself up, but “she could not.”
How like this is to those who are morally “bowed together” through drink, lust, or temper, and who again and again have attempted to lift themselves up, but they cannot, back they go to their natural condition.
She was very Anxious. She was in the synagogue on the Sabbath day, when Jesus was there according to (v.10,11).
Perhaps it was because He was there that she was there, at any rate she was putting herself in the way of getting blessing.
It does not matter where a person take there sin crooked life, there is no deliverance for them as long as they avoid the presence of Christ and refuse to hear His Word. What good cheer is in this story for people who are amid bodily infirmities, mental oppression, or household burdens and afflictions, thereby tempting people to defer their duty to God’s house,yet they find their way to the church of God.
Had Bartimeus refused to hear that Jesus was passing by, instead of praying, he would have certainly remained in his blindness. His cry was, “And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.” (Mr.10:46). Jesus Invited into his presence. “Jesus called her” (v.12). There was a great number of people in the synagogue, but He called her.
The Spirit of the Lord was upon Him to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound (Isa. 61:1).
Jesus was true to His commission. He searches out this helpless one “whom Satan had bound, lo, these eighteen years. ”
Jesus Christ alone hath the keys of all the prison houses of Satan,” I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” (Rev.1:18).
The doors that Jesus opens, no man can shut it, the doors he shuts, no man can open, “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” (Rev.3:7). Jesus called her as we as touched her. “He laid His hands on her” states (v.13). Jesus Christ will always come into a personal communication with every person whom He saves.
He can delegate this great work to another. (Mk.16:18) states “they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Ac.9:17,18) tells us this, “And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul….And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith,” Note what (Ja.5:14) states, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:”
He is always ready to lay His healing hand upon all who accept His request, as this poor woman did. David of old stated in (Ps.103:2.4), “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction;” The woman mentioned in (Lk. 8:44) came without any special invitation, and touched His garment, and was instantly delivered. Jesus knew the woman desired for healing, (Ps.107:20 declared, He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.”
The results are the same, whether He come down to touch us, or suffers us to touch Him, it is all of grace on His part. The apostle Paul stated “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; “ (I.Cor.15:10).
His hands are the hands of infinite love and power, they are never exercised in vain,”Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.: (Mt.15:32).
Jesus Delivered her and set her free.. Notice the terms used, “Loosed from thine infirmity,. . . made straight,. . . loosed from this bond,” (v.12).
It was to her a full and complete salvation. May I say that (Ac.2:38) gives us the only complete plan of salvation for the New Testament age, “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
It consisted of a deliverance from her own weakness; freedom from the binding power of Satan, and a being made straight for future life and work. Jesus stated, “The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;” (Isa.61:1).
Such is His salvation. A loosing of the soul from the bondage of Satan and moral infirmity, and a making of the heart straight for an upright life and loving service. “Go and sin no more” Therefore the song of the saved is, “Unto Him who loved us, and… loosed us from our sin by His own blood” (Rev.1:5). This woman was very thankful for deliverance. “Immediately she glorified God” (v.13). A new song was put into her mouth as soon as her feet had been taken out of the horrible pit of her eighteen years, (Ps.40:2,3) tells us,”He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.”
The snare was broken by the power of Him who came “to heal all that were oppressed by the Devil.” Let us note (Ac.10:28) “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Now her soul had escaped like a bird, and was singing her song of praise high unto the Heavens of God’s redeeming love, “The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps.16:5,6).