Please read Luke 8:43-48 (Matthew 9:20 – 22 and Mark 5:25 – 34)
A. The Many …
Again Jesus was surrounded by a large crowd that jostled one another to be closest to Him to satisfy their curiosity, be healed or listen to His teaching because He spoke with authority revealing great wisdom and insight.
Now he was on His way to attend to a 12-year-old dying girl. Suddenly He stopped and asked, “Who touched Me?” All those surrounding Him denied this, but He persisted “Who touched Me?” Peter, who was always the first to speak, implored, “But Lord here are so many people around you, how can you ask, ‘Who touched Me?'” Jesus answered, “Somebody touched me, for I sensed that power went forth from me.”
B. … And The One
Finally, a woman hiding in the crowd, realized that Jesus knew what she had done and that she had better step forward unless He called her by name. So she pushed through the people, fell down at His feet and told Him her sad story.
C. A Touching Story
For 12 years she had suffered from a flow of blood and spent all her money on doctors’ fees without benefiting at all. Everybody listening also realized that not only was her health undermined by it, but it also ruined her social and family life. The Law of Moses declared a woman spiritually, symbolicly unclean during her menstrual period and no one would come near her so that they would not also become unclean (Lev 15:26–27). Since she had been flowing continually, month by month-out and year by year, she could never go close to anyone, not even the members of her family. She had to observe a strict social distance.
What was even more distressing, was that she could not marry or have children. She was an outcast from society. Everyone looked down upon her. No one wanted to befriend her. How cruel life can be. By now she must have been at least 24 years of age, but could have been much older.
The number, 12, is of significance. In Scripture that number relates to nations and their leaders (i.e. the twelve tribes of Israel and their patriarcs, (OT believers), the twelve elders before the throne of God representing leaders of God’s spiritual kingdom )NT believers) In this context it means that this woman was, for all that time, excluded from God’s people.
D. New Hope But Many Barriers
This poor rejected woman heard about the Lord Jesus and the wonders He performed, and suddenly hope flared up in her heart. Here was Someone who could heal her. But how to achieve this? The other people went straight up to Jesus and when He then asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” they would reply, “Lord please heal my blindness” or “… my crippled leg” or whatever, and then Jesus would do it for them. But how could she now, in full hearing of all these people, say, “Lord, I am suffering from a flow of blood?” Just think of the shame she would face and the indignation of the bystanders she had touched and made unclean.
E. Faith Jumps Over A Wall, Charges A Gang Of Robbers Or …
Then her faith took a leap: why would it be necessary for Him to lay hands on her, possibly, if she just touched Him, her health would be restored. Yes, that was it. With her face probably wrapped in a shawl not to be recognised, she circled around till she was right behind Him. Then she sneaked up closer, wriggling her body through the pressing crowd. At last she was right behind Him but probably could not, while standing upright, have been able to bend right down to touch the hem of His garment and had to go down on her knees. The hem was now right in front of her and with a trembling hand she reached out and pressed it firmly between her fingers.
Immediately she felt a surge of power flowing through her body and the next moment all pain and discomfort had left her. In the blinking of an eye, it was just gone! She knew that she was healed. Oh, I think sobs of relief racked her body and tears of joy trickled down her cheeks.
F. Faith Practiced In Secret Is Publicly Recognized
But why did the Lord call her forth from the crowd, thus exposing her to their disparaging and disapproval? Firstly, I would say, He wanted to meet this woman who had such great confidence in Him. He also wanted her to meet Him face to face. He wanted her to get to know Him personally, not only as her healer, but also as her loving Saviour from the scourge of being considered spiritually unclean. He wanted to look in her the eyes and for her to look Him in the eyes. He wanted to remember her face and that she would remember His face.
He also wanted to speak to her, special words of encouragement, words she would never forget; not only common words of doctrine, but words that were special, only for her, which she could hide deeply in her heart and cherish during the coming years while enjoying her newfound health. What did He say to her: “Daughter, cheer up. Your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
So, firstly He commended her for her faith, by which she had been healed. But her faith also brought her into a special relationship with God. We see that in the fact that He addressed her as “Daughter”. If He had addressed her as “Woman” it would have been more impersonal, but by using the word “Daughter,” He indicated that He now saw her in a special relationship with Him, a relationship of love and protection. His words implied that by faith she was not only healed but had also become a daughter of the Almighty God.”
What great miracles her faith had worked. Finally He spoke His peace over her.
G. If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us? (Romans 8:31)
A final thought: By affording her the opportunity to give her testimony in public, He helped her get rid of her shame and poor self-esteem, to lift her head in public again and confidently face the future. His public acceptance of her, helped her regain confidence in herself and shake off her years of humiliation. Her attitude now would be: “If Jesus had not been ashamed to speak to me publicly, why should others be ashamed of me, and why would I be ashamed of myself and not speak to others in public?” Oh, the power, wisdom and love of Jesus.
Already in the Old Testament, Isaiah had prophesied that He would uplift a downtrodden humanity:
Isa 61:1-3 The Lord Yahweh’s Spirit is on me; because Yahweh has anointed me to preach good news to the humble. He has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of Yahweh’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to provide for those who mourn in Zion, to give to them a garland for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of Yahweh, that he may be glorified.
I. Faith Must Be Practiced From The Heart
However, a very important lesson we shouldn’t overlook is that multitudes of people “rubbed shoulders” with Jesus but that only one of them touched Him by faith. We can read our Bibles day and night and spend hours in prayer, i.e. move very close to Jesus, but if we do not reach out to Him in faith, no power will flow from Him to meet our needs.
Without faith it is impossible to be well pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists, and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him. (Heb 11:6)
But do not get discouraged because the Holy Spirit helps us to overcome our infirmities. He intercedes for us and works the necessary faith in the heart of everyone who sincerely seeks God’s touch (Romans 8:26). Push through everything that barricades your way, reach out to Him from your heart and experience His solution to your long-standing problem.
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