Thursday, June 2, 2016
Sick and tired of being so sick and tired
This is certainly one of the most dramatic stories of healing that we have studied. I believe that there are some key concepts that we can learn here . . .
When we suffer, we become much more eager to get close to Jesus. This woman had endured twelve years of loneliness, and twelve years of ill health. Twelve years of doctors "bleeding" her of all her money. Still every cup she touched, every chair she sat in, was a source of defilement for other people. Perhaps in the beginning, people cared about her health, and they felt sorry about it and may even have tried to take care of her . . . but after a while, they probably stopped and she was so very alone. Sick and tired, with the loss of blood making her weak. So tired of being sick, and tired. She was drawn by her suffering to try to get close to Him; her faith told her if only she could touch his garment, she would be healed. So, in desperation, she did all she had to do, to touch Him.
Isn't this true in our lives today? When our health takes a nosedive, or when our relationships are in the tank, or perhaps our finances or job are so stressful that we are filled with dread and depression, we find ourselves truly suffering. Things like these issues can strip away all of the shallow concerns and the unimportant "stuff" and make us realize what is really important. And that serves to draw us closer to Him; we see our needs and we want a more personal walk with Christ Jesus. That's when we reach out to Him.
Another key to this passage is that Jesus gives us exactly what we need. In our story, He gave the unnamed woman just what she needed -- it was as if He brought her back to life. Let me explain what I mean.
She had already been blessed with healing. Her bleeding had stopped. He went one step further. Here He was, walking along with the religious leader of the town, and He called attention to this everyday woman. Why? He chose to turn a spotlight, as it were, on this woman who probably wanted to just slip away and get home as quickly as possible. I'm certain that she didn't want any extra attention, or to have to speak in public. But Jesus had something more in mind.
He had already taken care of her physical problem. But now He wanted to take care of what had driven her to the desperate act of pushing through the crowd and touching Him. He wanted to heal her "uncleanness." The isolation, the loneliness, and the spiritual death that she had lived with for twelve years -- that was really what had ruined her life. So Jesus publicly called attention to her healing, and gave her back her life: everybody now would know that she had been healed. They wouldn't need to "hear it through the grapevine." They wouldn't need to be told when they went to the well for water. They knew that she was healed. And it was safe to touch her now. It was safe to be with her.
Christ does this in our lives today, doesn't He? He changes our lives from the inside out! He heals us in a way that makes other people know that we're OK to be around, now. Are we arrogant? Full of pride? Addicted to sexual sins? Addicted to drugs or alcohol? Are we ill tempered? Unkind?
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you
were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus
Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (I Corinthians 6:11, NIV)
Once we believe in Jesus and repent of our sins, He can take our damaged lives and heal our souls. And the change in us is so evident that people will know that we are "safe" to be around.
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things
are passed away; behold all things are become new. (II Corinthians
Praise be to Jesus . . .