Saturday, April 14, 2007
A Bleeding Woman of Faith
I don't know about you, but I can be a doubter at times. I mean, if you come to me and tell me that you found a pair of Nine West shoes on the sale rack for $4.99, chances are, I'm going to insist that you're lying until I see the receipt. If someone were to tell me they were going to take me on a cruise for two weeks, I would probably be relunctant to get excited until I was actually on the boat. What can I say? I don't like to be set up for disappointment. But there was a lady unlike me who had amazing faith...so amazing that her story is actually included in the Bible in three different places. So pick your Gospel and check out either Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34, or Luke 8:43-48.
Okay, now that you've read it from the source, I'll tell you my version. This poor woman has been bleeding for 12 years. Umm, that's over half of my life - LONG time! Can you imagine the pain and how weak this woman must have felt? If you've ever bled for longer than a few minutes, you know that it's absolutely draining. She had to have been exhausted all the time. But here was the worst part. In that day, if you were bleeding, you were considered unclean. So, no one could even touch her...and she wasn't allowed to touch anyone - it was LAW. So that's 12 years of bleeding with no hugs, no pats on the back, no strokes of her hair. Human touch is comforting...I mean, what girl doesn't like to be held when she's hurting? There are just some things we never outgrow...
So anyway, here's this woman and Jesus is walking by her. Now, Jesus was in a hurry because Jairus needed Him to come to his house because his daughter was dying. He was also surrounded by a huge crowd. She didn't have time to spill her sob story to Him in hopes that He would heal her, as He had been performing many miracles. The only time that she had with Jesus was to just touch Him as He walked by...and maybe, just MAYBE she would be healed. But remember...she wasn't allowed to touch anyone.
As Jesus walked by, this woman was overwhelmed by faith, reached out her hand, and touched His robe as He walked by. The Bible says, "Immediately, her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering." (Mark 5:29). WOW! IMMEDIATELY, her bleeding stopped and she stopped hurting. Just from touching Jesus' clothing. What joy! What FREEDOM! But wait a second...Jesus stopped and turned around. Oh no. Did He know she had touched Him? Was she about to be jailed for breaking the law?
Jesus asked, "Who touched my clothes?" Okay...I'm not sure about you, but if I was walking in the middle of a huge crowd and I felt something brush against my shirt, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't freak out. But Jesus knew that there was something different about this touch. A little frightened, the woman came forward. She knew if Jesus knew someone had touched His clothes that He also would know she was the one who touched Him.
And she did what any normal girl would do in a situation where she thought she would be in trouble. She cried...she fell at the feet of our Lord and poured out her story between her tears. When she finished, she looked up, and I believe that she looked into the pair of the kindest eyes that you could ever imagine. He wasn't angry. Not at all. Jesus was moved by her faith.
Now, I don't have a Scripture account for this. I mean, stories like this make it obvious that men wrote the Bible. There's not much detail and definately not a lot of touchy-feely stuff. But this is a touchy-feely story!!! And all Matthew, Mark, and Luke can give me is that Jesus said, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace, and be freed from your suffering." Now, don't get me wrong. Those are powerful words, and I believe that Jesus said them!! But I also want to know that Jesus placed his hand on her face and helped her stand up. I want to know that He hugged her and THEN he told her that her faith had healed her! When I get to heaven, Matthew, Mark, Luke and I are going to talk about writing DESCRIPTIVE accounts. (Just kidding....not really...but who knows? I probably won't care by then because I can just ask her myself!)
Again, our fact-favoring writing boys of the Bible simply move on in Scripture to the next miracle. But let's stay for a moment with that woman and imagine what it would have been like. Just minutes before, she was sick, bleeding, unclean, and suffering. After ONE TOUCH from Jesus and because of her faith in Him, she was healed. She was clean. And she was no longer in pain. I imagine that as Jesus walked on that this woman fell back to her knees. (because remember, Jesus helped her stand up...just my opinion, so take it for what you will!) :) I believe that she felt totally wrapped in God's presence and unbelievably grateful. Her faith had been rewarded.
So what exacty can we learn from this amazing woman of faith? Do you need an appointment to come to Jesus? No. Is Jesus EVER too busy for us? Absolutely not. Is there a problem that we have that He doesn't care about? No way. He is always there for us when we need Him. All you have to do is have faith and reach out to Him.
I'm going to challenge you to touch Jesus today and let Him heal you...whatever that may mean for you.