Free at Last


Imagine you’re in the studio audience of your favorite talk show and the topic of the program is “Life is Holding You Hostage.” Before they announce their surprise guest, you exchange knowing nods with those nearby, and nervously squirm in your seat. Then, in a dramatic turn of events, you hear your name announced as the lucky participant whose life will be used for demonstration. In your stunned state, the host assures you this is good news; today, for all to witness, you’ll be released from what has hijacked you. In the following passage, Jesus did this very thing for an unsuspecting woman and showcased his ability to save those who are bound.

  • What is holding you hostage today?


10 Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him.

English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


  1. What was the condition of the woman Jesus saw?
  2. What was her condition after Jesus called her to him? Describe what happened to her and what she did.
  3. Why did Jesus heal her? Did she ask for healing?
  4. What was Jesus’ attitude toward those who used the law to further their own agenda?
  5. In your heart attitude, do you find you are adversarial to the work the Lord is doing, or rejoicing in it?


Jesus saves. Jesus heals. Jesus is Lord. Each of us, in our own way, is like the woman who had been bound and bent over. Jesus saves us from Satan’s strongholds and heals us of sin’s disabling curse. We are sometimes like the ruler of the synagogue; we read the law and make demands, then become indignant when Jesus doesn’t work within our timeframe. So, Jesus reminds us that he is the Lord, he knows what day of the week it is, and our critique on when or how he works does not change his plans.

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to search your heart and reveal where you are bound and in need of healing, and where you’re indignant and in need of surrender. Then rejoice! He is at work in your life!