Today, the world over, we celebrate all women. And I spent all day pondering in my heart, the reality of women in our days, paying attention to their evolution as it were, their roles, their configuration, and so on.
Quietly, a certain portion of scripture gained prominence in my heart, I hope to be able to communicate some of my thoughts to you.
And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
The history of women has been chequered, filled with experiences of subjection, oppression, abuses of all kinds, and various hardships that can’t be qualified. This has held to be true for women in every age, in every clime, in every time-space, regardless of her color, regardless of her ideals.
It was not meant to be so. So we find Jesus, in this particular portion of scripture appearing on the scene and healing a woman. You see, he has healed many women before, but with this woman, he gave us a critical insight worthy of our attention.
I’d start with verse 16: He says, “Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham”. Remember, he was speaking to Jews and Jewish leaders. Effectively, he says that, listen this woman, whoever she is, has a fundamental identity- she is a daughter of Abraham– and on account of that she has certain rights, certain liberties, access, and opportunities, she is deserving. I realize that a fundamental challenge that women have faced is the challenge of Identity. Who is a woman? Every time and in any setting that the answer to that question is wrong or the question is left unanswered, everyone has paid a price for it, unfortunately including the woman, heavily.
Next, he adds “whom Satan has bound”. I do not intend to sound religious, but to rather state clearly that, I go on record stating and believing that, God created man and woman, male and female, establishing therein the appropriate dynamics not for coexistence but rather of relationship, fellowship, and communion. However, when that delicate balance was altered, it gave room for both man and woman to be afflicted by the devil. For the woman, it came as bonds, this has resulted in bondage, albeit in different forms, names, shapes, and shades. And sadly as a result of this new arrangement, part of the instruments the devil uses to exercise these bonds have been a men-male man. He did this by corrupting the inbuilt software that was installed at creation.
Lo, these eighteen years, and I understood this to mean, she wasn’t born this way, it wasn’t God’s idea that she will be in these bonds. It was not so at the beginning. These bonds came afterward, they are an aberration and an abuse of the original idea.
Finally, he says “be loosed from these bonds on the Sabbath day”. God through Christ is loosing every bond, bringing liberty, and setting to order things as at the first. Glory to God!!!
Through and In Christ, the identity, purpose, and power of the woman are restored and can become the reality of every woman that recognizes that and so align with the truth of God in Christ.
Verse 17 is the clincher, notice this: at the end of the day, all his adversaries were ashamed, and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.
This is powerful, as God restores women to his original design, it in effect, puts his adversaries, his opponents to shame, and at the same time, when woman recognize and function according to design, being liberated from the bonds of the adversaries, it is truly a Glorious thing.
Let no one flatter themselves into thinking they are more interested in issues of women than their Creator or that somehow they are trying to be liberated from the design model of God. The day it ever crosses our imagination, how and why God created a woman, I believe that we will fall upon our faces and admit we were wrong about Him.
God is not biased towards women and he is not misogynistic. That only exists in the realm of men. God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.