By Pastor J. F. Odesola
“… Ought not this woman being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond?…” (Luke 13:16)
It is quite evident, even from a causal reading of the gospel, that Doctor Luke had a special care and concern for the woman-folk to whom the Lord gave help and healing, or who were associated with Him during His three years of public ministry in Luke 13:10-17, we have the graphic account of a desperately sick woman who had been physically sick for years, during which time her body had become increasingly deformed until she was bent almost double. She had doubtless sought medical help, such as it was in those days, from one doctor after another only to find that she was growing worse. Then, one wonderful day she came face to face with Jesus, and he at once healed her and set her free.
As we read God’s Word, it is important that we do not miss the personal application of what we read; and when I thought about this woman,” isn’t it time that you were set free from the thing which have bound you all these years? Poor soul, she had eighteen years of defeat; surely it was time that she should know something of release and of deliverance? And so this message is put in the form of a question I would like to ask you: Isn’t it time you found deliverance from the things which have bound and fettered you and spoiled your life for all this long time? How much longer are you going on as a spiritual failure? It is time, surely, that you come to the One who can loose your bonds, who can set you gloriously free and who can change your bondage and frustration and misery into joy and blessing which will glorify God.
I once heard my friend George Duncan express his deep concern that there are so many people in Christendom who are suffering from “chronic disease of the soul”. Was he right in speaking that way? Is it true that there are those of us who are justified, and our name are written in the Lamb’s book of life, who yet have some chronic disease gripping our and marring our testimony and spoiling our lives? Alas! We know it true.
On every hand there are defeated Christians, saint who are soul-sick; they knew pardon but not purity; they know salvation from sin’s guilt but not from its power; and the tragedy of it is that some of them have like that for years.
We sing the glorious hymn:
He breaks the power of cancelled sin,
He sets the prisoner free…
Does He? Of course He does, praise God! Then why are we so often bound by sin and self and Satan? What a poor lot we are; someone once said to me, “Mr. Dixon, why is that so many Christians are unkind?” why is that we get so jealous, so spiteful; why are we so undisciplined; why are we often rude, and selfish, and mean and dishonest? How is that after all this long, perhaps eighteen years, we are still bond and gripped by evil things by doubt, fear, worry, or anxiety?
Bound by Satan! But can the Lord Jesus free us? Is His power sufficient? Can He heal us from these chronic diseases of the soul? Can He break these long – suffering, bad habits which do not glorify him? Can he open the door and release us so that we are no longer prisoners in bondage to sin, to self and to Satan? Yes, He can; and the story of this woman is an illustration of the way in which He does it.
Luke the physician, tells us that as Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath day, He suddenly saw this poor woman, just as He sees every one of us in our need; and He called her to Him and performed the miracle which resulted in her freedom from the bondage of Satan. And in the same way, He is waiting now to perform that same miracle in the heart and life of every one of His children who is in bondage. He will do it for you. He will set you free.