In this Gospel Lesson, I want to know what Jesus saw. I want to have Jesus’ eyes. Because there she appears in the synagogue. He couldn’t have known that she had suffered in this way for 18 years. Or maybe he did. Maybe he saw how crooked and hunched over she was and he knew that it had been a very long time since she had stood up straight, if she had ever been so lucky. Maybe he saw how others looked at her. How they tried to hide their grimaces behind open palms. Maybe he tried to make eye contact with her. Maybe he tried to look her in the eye but her gaze was fixed upon the ground. Her crooked back would not allow her to look up. Instead, her gaze darted from side to side without ever getting to see what was right before her.
|The Skit Guys wrote something about bullying
with the title Jesus’ Eyes.
A spirit had crippled her. That spirit — which some translations describe as an evil spirit — had prevented her from standing up straight. She was bent over for 18 long years. Did Jesus see that spirit? Could he see that it wasn’t part of her? No matter how tightly it wrenched her back contorting her into a hunchback, that spirit wasn’t who she was. Or did he just see her in the fullness of her humanity? What is it that Jesus sees when he calls her over to say, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”
But, she is not yet free. Not until he touches her. He puts his hands upon her and then she stands up straight. With this touch, and this new posture, she begins praising God. And while it might seem that the power of that touch would be the most helpful vehicle for ministry — it’s Jesus’ sight that I really want. It would be really nice to lay my hands upon any number of people bent over with such infirmity by an affliction or a disability or whatever that burden may be that distorts their body to such the extreme that they can’t see a way ahead of them. They are too mired by their own pain. It’d be nice to have those hands to offer healing, but I really want Jesus’ eyes. Because wouldn’t it be just amazing to see someone’s humanity before you see the spirit that cripples them? Maybe, just maybe, that’s what the Kingdom of God looks like — that we all see with Jesus’ eyes. That we permit ourselves to rejoice in all of the wonderful things that God is doing rather than limiting ourselves by those crippling spirits. Yes, I want Jesus’ eyes.