Luke 13:10-17 talks about Yahshua’s encounter with a woman who is described as having a spirit of infirmity for 18 years. On the Sabbath, Yahshua calls this woman, who had become bent, doubled over and unable to lift herself up; he declares “woman, thou art loosed from your infirmity”, touches her and immediately she was able to stand up straight and she glorified YHWH. But the story does not end there, the onlookers became angry that Yahshua had loosed this woman on the Sabbath day, so Yahshua made a most curious analogy. He said, does not each of you on the Sabbath loosen your ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it to water, on the Sabbath? So this daughter of Abraham, who has been bound, for all this time, should she not also be loosened on the Sabbath. (I am paraphrasing).
Let’s talk first about this spirit of infirmity. The HalleluYah Scriptures translates this into “a weakening spirit” and “a spirit of weakness”. It is very appropriate, this transliteration, because when one is weak, it is difficult to stay upright. It is difficult to stand, and if you are weak long enough, you could end up giving into the desire to stay doubled over or bent and become incapacitated and unable to raise yourself up.
Isn’t this similar to our spiritual lives when we allow our weaknesses to set in and control our lives? In fact I appreciate that the scripture calls it a “spirit” of weakness, because it now becomes greater than the physical; it has set into our attitude and posture and we can become resigned to the fact that this is a weakness and it will always be with us. The woman came to the temple doubled over, she was living her life bent low, perhaps after 18 years she came to accept her ‘weakness posture’. The fact is, unlike in many other miracles performed, she did not go chasing after Yahshua, the scipture says,Yahshua noticed her and called her.
I am grateful, that even in our weakness, in our state of being unable to lift ourselves up, Yahshua sees us. I am grateful that He is aware that when we have become bound by the spirit of infirmity, we are unable to bring ourselves to stand as the Apostle Paul encourages us to do, and He can minister His word to us and touch our lives. Breaking us free of the spirit(s) that would keep us in our weakness.
I am also grateful, that He does not wait for it to be convenient for other people to set us free. Reread the analogy He made to the hypocrites and consider this. An animal can be made to stay in the barn and the caretaker will bring him a bucket of water, or a bale of hay, as he sees fit. The caretaker may even decide to let the animal consume the stagnant waters of yesterday and whatever dried up grass is in the barn. But Yahshua says, even your animals, you give the freedom to go out and get fresh water, fresh food, freedom to discover what the day has in-store, but you cannot give the same courtesy to this woman?
As weak as she was, she was still called the daughter of Abraham! Our weakness does not change our identity. Therefore, as children of Father Yahweh, He wants us to be loose from limitations, loose from stagnation, loose to discover fresh bread and water. Loosed from the spirit of weakness which inhibits our growth and our ability to walk upright.
I believe we all have areas of weakness, but if it has become a crippling spirit that is limiting our growth and preventing us from standing for and in Yahshua, and causing stagnation and limiting our blessings and our access to the Word and to the Power of the Holy Spirit; it is time to be loosed. Yahshua has made a way. Not only that, He has provided for us a greater Spirit: His Spirit that “helps us in our weaknesses” (Romans 8:26). So let us walk in the Spirit, and we will be able to walk uprightly and in righteousness. No longer bound, no longer waiting for the convenient of agenda of those who we depend upon to feed us because we are made free to access His Spirit and Word.
Galatians 5:1 paints the picture of the “yoke of bondage”, it is a burden, it weighs us down and so the scripture says stand firm in the freedom, which Messiah Yahshua has given us. Exchange your yoke for His, for His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Thanks be to YHWH, Yahshua has come and has made us free. Great is His mercy and His grace.