In action-adventure movies, there are often megalomaniacs, evil aliens, humanoids, and monsters who push heroes to their limit. Futuristic weapons may explode whole city blocks, but the hero or heroine emerges victorious. It can make an exciting story to have a really powerful evil. But evil outside of superhero stories generally looks less like a cyborg armed with a powerful phaser, and more like all-too-common presentations of disease, depression, violence, or poverty.
These familiar evils can seem to be unavoidably woven into human experience. We hear about them all the time; and—if we don’t know better, or are not alert—we take them for granted. Maybe that’s why Christ Jesus’ healing work was so surprising to people. For example, when Jesus healed a man of palsy, the Gospel of Mark says: “And immediately he [the healed man] arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion” (2:12).
There’s also the healing of the woman who had been unable to stand straight for 18 years. That, too, had seemed like a hopeless case. In speaking about the healing, Jesus described the woman as one “whom Satan hath bound” (Luke 13:16).