Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Sick and tired of being sick and tired

Let's start today by refreshing our memories of this wonderful passage. This story is told in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In the same chapter (we'll use Mark 5) we see Jairus' daughter being raised from the dead, and Jesus brings this suffering woman back to life, as well.
Let's dive in!
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake.22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her,“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:21-34)
We noted last time that it would be a huge problem for the woman to get close to Jesus. It would be hard enough for a woman to work her way through a throng of people; the men would think it was far more important for them to see or hear, than to be polite and let her through.

But the other problem was that in order to get close to Him, close enough to speak or ask Him for help, she would have to touch the other people -- she would be forcing her uncleanness on them! But maybe the thoughts went through her head and she thought, I've lived this way too long. I've heard that He heals many of sicknesses and even demons . . . this may be my only chance to be healed.

As she begins to push her way closer, she can hear the people talking about Jesus, and that He is making His way to Jairus' home, to the daughter that is ill. Suddenly, to her dismay, she realizes that this Jairus is the leader of the synagogue! He is an important person; she is not. She may never get Jesus' attention now.

Inspiration strikes! Perhaps if she could just touch Him. Some say that He is the Messiah, the chosen One. Maybe she can make her way through the crowd and just touch the hem of His garment . . . yes! That is what she will do!
The picture above shows a cloak similar to what Jesus may have worn. In those days, the Jews wore cloaks with tassels on the four corners, and the tassels had a blue cord woven into it which reminded them of God's law and their duty to keep that law. Some people thought of the tassels as almost sacred, because of that . . . maybe she could touch a tassel on the hem of his garment. That would be about as far removed from actually touching Him as she could get, and her new faith spurred her into action. She slowly weaves her way through the crowd, inching closer to Him. She may have pulled her shawl closer around her face, so that her neighbors would not see that it was her. At last, she is close to Him; she is close enough to hear Jesus and Jairus talking.

Quick as a wink, she bends down low and brushes her hand against the hem of His garment.

Immediately, she feels a change in her body. Perhaps it was like a tingling sensation, like that of our limbs when they've been "asleep" and are moving again. The warmth floods her body and she knows the bleeding is stopped -- she's been healed!

Trying to contain her joy, she begins to move back out through the crowd, away from Him. No one must see her and recognize her -- they would condemn her for having touched them and made them unclean.

Imagine how her heart pounded when Jesus turned and looked behind Him.
"Who touched me?"
Everyone there believes Jesus is asking because someone must have "bumped into Him" or even "shoved" Him -- no one wants to be guilty of harming or annoying this great teacher. Peter even responds that everyone in the crowd was pressing in and crowding Him.

Ah, but the healed woman knows exactly what He means. He means her, and she knows it. She knows that she must confess.
She falls to her knees before Him, expecting to be condemned and even punished. Maybe she was even afraid that somehow the healing she has experienced will be taken from her in punishment.

So, she pleads her case to the great teacher, the One Who can save them all. She explains how desperate she was, and how driven to simply touch his garment. And she tells Him she has been healed.
Does Jesus berate her?
Does He recite from Leviticus the rules that she should have followed?
Does He embarrass her in front of the whole town?
He reaches down to her, and pulls her to her feet. He tells her tenderly, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace." (Luke 8:48)

Imagine the joy that must have flooded her soul and spilled out in praise from her lips! What a smile she must have smiled as she walked back through the crowd and made her way home!

We'll conclude our study of this woman tomorrow. We don't know her name, but we can learn so much from her!


Katie Isabella said...

One of my most favorite stories in the Bible. IT demonstrates to the T what faith is.

Marla's Crafts said...

That feeling of being sick for so long and not being able to explain how bad it feels takes a lot out of a person. I can understand how this lady felt. Going through Cancer and being so sick for two years is just a short time compared to hers but without faith would be that much harder. My son was so sick and in so much pain and almost dies three times from the age of fifteen until he was twenty one with acute panretitics. Now my husband with this lung disease. My son asked me once how I could stand it. Faith is the only way.
I would also like to have prayer for a friend of mine who is having surgury. She had cancer shortly after me and is now having a brest removal today. I can't believe it is day surgury. She is one of the strongest ladies that I know. I pray that things go well.
My husband is feeling much better with the new puffer. Next Tuesday is his knee surgury. So have prayers for him a,so that nothing gets cancelled and things goes well.
It is a beautiful day here and I am looking forward to a great day.

Belinda said...

Reading this post brought chills. What faith!!! And to experience not only healing, but being before the precious Messiah! Would I have faith enough to even dare something like this? I seriously doubt it.

Marla, I'm praying all goes well with your husband and your friend.