The tower in Siloam

February 28 2024

Book: Luke

The tower in Siloam

Or those eighteen – Jesus himself adds another similar case, to warn them – a case
which had probably occurred not long before, and which it is likely they judged in the
same manner.
Upon whom the tower in Siloam fell –
The name Siloah or Siloam is found only three times in the Bible as applied to water –
once in Isaiah 8:6, who speaks of it as running water;
once as a pool near to the king’s garden in Nehemiah 3:15;
and once as a pool, in the account of the Saviour’s healing the man born blind, in John
9:7-11.
Josephus mentions the fountain of Siloam frequently as situated at the mouth of the
Valley of Tyropoeon, or the Valley of Cheesemongers, where the fountain long indicated
as that fountain is still found.
It is on the south side of Mount Moriah, and between that and the Valley of
Jehoshaphat.
The water at present flows out of a small artificial basin under the cliff, and is received
into a large reservoir 53 feet in length by 18 feet in breadth.
The small upper basin or fountain excavated in the rock is merely the entrance, or
rather the termination of a long and narrow subterranean passage beyond, by which the
water comes from the Fountain of the Virgin.
For what purpose the “tower” here referred to was erected is not known; nor is it known
at what time the event here referred to occurred.
It is probable that it was not far from the time when the Saviour made use of the
illustration, for the manner in which he refers to it implies that it was fresh in the
recollection of those to whom he spoke.
This passage can be interpreted three ways:
1) The Proper Interpretation
2) The Prophetic Interpretation
3) The Personal Interpretation
I. The Proper Interpretation
By the proper interpretation I am referring to what really happened in this story. I want to
take the text as it stands and see what God has for us.
(A) The Miserable Woman (v.11)
In this short story we find a woman with a “spirit of infirmity”, which literally means ‘to be
in want of strength’. She had a weakness whereby she was unable to do anything (i.e.
like normal people could). The Bible also reveals that because of her condition she was
“bent over”. In other words, she could not stand up straight because the bones of her
spine were fused together into a rigid mass. The fact that she “could not…raise” herself
up speaks of her utter helplessness and utter hopelessness. She was of no use to
anyone. And the sad part about this story was that she was like this for “eighteen years”.
The only highlight as far as she was concerned was that “she was found in the
synagogue”. What a powerful testimony. She did not consider her situation as a
complete hindrance. Despite her circumstances she was still able to worship God. How
often do we stay away from the house of the Lord because of a minor ailment? Despite
bodily infirmities, they should not keep us from worshipping God.
(B) The Merciful Saviour (vv.12-13)
This short story is also a wonderful revelation of mercy and grace.
For everything that was going on in the life of Jesus the Bible records the fact that
“Jesus saw her”.
This is mercy and grace at its best.
Have you ever noticed that every time Jesus is in a crowd he looks for those in need?
Jesus knows and cares about our needs.
Jesus sees us amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
But not only did he see the poor woman, the story continues when “Jesus called her”.
Again, this is mercy and grace at its best.
Jesus took the initiative.
The woman did not come seeking a cure (i.e. Jesus was teaching in the synagogue).
We then read that “the woman obeyed”.
Despite her circumstances (again!), she was able to respond to the command of Jesus.
Too many times when we are laid aside with physical
ailments, self-pity will cause us to be deaf to that still small
voice seeking to encourage us.
What happened next was that “she came to Jesus”.
She came not seeking a cure, but perhaps to receive some kind of teaching from Jesus,
who wasteaching in the synagogue at the time.
But, instead of receiving a word from Jesus she found relief from her infirmity.
It has been said that those who seek the care of their soul will find that it will benefit
their body.
(C) The Miraculous Cure (V.13)
The cure that the woman received for her infirmity is described in a number of ways.
First, it was “immediate”. Jesus spoke but a word and it was done.
Second, it was “complete”.
She was completely delivered from her ailment.
Third, it was “miraculous” She that was crooked was made straight.
She experienced a radical change in her life.
After her miraculous cure the Bible records for us that she “glorified God”.
This was her immediate response to her cure.
She recognized the divine power that Jesus had and praised God for it.
This is a beautiful picture of a sin-bound sinner who can be delivered by the saving
power of Jesus.
( Psalm 40:2-3).
II. The Prophetic Interpretation
Let us interpret the woman in this short story as the Church, the Bride of Christ.
Therefore, the question we need to ask ourselves is this: “In today’s church what kind of
infirmities are within that prevent the Church from being useful to God?”
“Is there anything in the Church that causes her to be ‘bent over’ so that it becomes
helpless?”
Revelation 3:14-22
3. Personal interpretations?

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