This week's Bible Lesson, Everlasting Punishment, is timely. So many people struggle with problems that seem to go on and on. There is much to be gained by studying the account of the woman with the spirit of infirmity.
That story is in Luke's gospel. Luke was a physician so his accounts of Jesus healing sickness are interesting. Luke would have been most impressed by this healing and he would have been able to question the disciples, who were present.
The unnamed woman moved around, bent over and unable to stand upright. She may have been doubled over in sorrow or actually suffering with a physical infirmity but this is how she appeared to most people. But it was not what Jesus saw. This was an unasked for cure. She did not approach him, he called to her. If you continue reading beyond what is included in this week's Lesson you see that Jesus describes her a being bound by Satan. That does not mean she had been living a sinful life, but that she was totally accepting the error or false belief of her situation.
Whatever was behind it, Jesus put his hands on her, probably on her shoulders or back, the very place where she seemed to be forced into submission, and he tells her she is loosed from this infirmity. Immediately she was made straight. In modern terms, her thinking was straightened out and she was able to stand upright for the first time in 18 years.
Have you ever felt bound by some lie or error about yourself? About your past?Did you ever indulge in impatience and perhaps say or do something unkind, and then feel guilty about it? Have you ever been out and about and been in the vicinity of someone who was sneezing or coughing, and then seemed to develop those same symptoms later? How about making a poor choice when buying something and then being stuck with a bill that you could not pay? There are many ways that 'Satan' can try to imply that we have done something for which we must be punished and that we deserve this punishment. That is a lie told by a liar.
Jesus did not delve into her past history. He saw her as the daughter of a loving Father Mother God, made in His image and likeness, never under subjection to any laws but His laws of ever present good. He just healed her by knowing the truth about her innocence and purity. And he did it in the most compassionate way so that she could see it as well. There was nothing left in her thought that needed to be punished and her sense of suffering was lifted away. There were many witnesses to this healing and those who saw her healed must have also changed their thought about her.
God does not make or cause sickness or sin. That is a false belief with no authority behind it. It cannot enforce penalties, we do that by accepting the lies as true. How much better to turn to God and see His creation, where everything is good and pure and holy. No disease. No slipping into bad habits. No indulgence in wrong doing of any kind. No poor choices. No ill effects from contagion.
And no moping around in a 'spirit of infirmity'. Stand upright. Stand with God. Be freed.