One of the six miracles unique to the Gospel of Luke is the healing of a crippled woman. This record is found in Luke 13:10-17. “Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, ‘Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.’ And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.”
This woman’s condition was caused by a spirit. She was bowed over and could not straighten herself to stand upright. She was in spiritual bondage and physically bound as a result. Although her name is not given and there is no other history about her, she went to the one place where one would think she could get help, the synagogue. Likewise, today's churches should be places where hurting people can find help. Jesus saw her, and called to her to Himself. He said, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” (NIV) Jesus then laid His hands on her, identifying her as the one to whom He was ministering, and imparted healing wholeness to her. The spirit causing her malady had to leave, and did. She instantly stood up straight and praised God.
“But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.’ The Lord then answered him and said, ‘Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it” The man responsible to oversee that particular synagogue was himself bound by legalism. He witnessed Jesus ministering healing to a woman with an obvious need, but instead of glorifying God, he was angry. He was more concerned about adhering to the letter of the law and which day it was than the fact that God had just set this woman free from an eighteen year disability. The ruler of the synagogue spoke to the crowd, as if to get them to agree with and side with him, but Jesus spoke directly to the man, and rebuked him publicly. Jesus knew the Scriptures, and referred to Exodus 23:12: “Six days you shall do your work, and on the seventh day you shall rest, that your ox and your donkey may rest…”
Jesus brought God’s true heart and the meaning of the law to this situation, conveying that if one would compassionately care for an animal, how much more are people more important and of greater value than animals, no matter which day it is. “So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.”