Summary: Story of two people with the same problem, one was not seeking an encounter with Jesus and the other was seeking Jesus out. Both were healed after a close encounter with Christ
Today I want us to look at two different people and two very different encounters with Jesus. As we look at these two people and how they encountered Jesus we should think of how we encounter Jesus. When Jesus is in our midst do we tend to make excuses or do we reach out to Him and make it happen?
The first person we will be looking at today is a man who has been battling His problem for a long time, 38 years to be exact. When he encounters Jesus he has a multitude of excuses of why he hasn’t been healed already. We find his story in John 5:1-9 (read)
The next person I want to talk about is a woman that has an issue of blood. This lady has been battling her problem for 12 long years. She has tried everything and now she is planning to try Jesus. This woman is about to have a close encounter with Christ. Her story is found in Mark5:25-34 (read)
Now these are two very different people but they are also similar in a few ways. They are both very sick and have been for a long time, they both have been seeking a cure, and they both have a close encounter with Jesus.
Let’s look at the man, he wasn’t looking for Jesus, he wasn’t even thinking about finding Jesus for the healing. He was there doing the same old thing he had always done, Just waiting for the angel to stir the water so that he might be healed. Not only was he there but many others who were sick were there also. But this day would be different, even though this man wasn’t seeking Christ, it seems that Christ was seeking him. Today was much different he had a close encounter even though he wasn’t expecting it.
Think about it , day in and day out this man had done the same thing and never changed, all these years and he was never able to find healing and this day Jesus came to him, but look what Jesus asked him, “do you wish to be well?” The man said sure I want to be well but I can’t because I have no one to put me in the pool and when the water is stirred someone else always gets in before me, this man had an excuse for his condition remaining the same. He wanted to be well but for whatever reason he just couldn’t do what was necessary to get well on his own, the man knew he needed someone to put him in the water. Even at this point the man didn’t know who Jesus was, even after Jesus healed him he didn’t know that he had encountered Jesus. The truth is the man didn’t know who had healed him until Jesus found him again in the temple and told him “Behold you have become well; do not sin anymore so that nothing worse happens to you” Jesus continued to seek this man even though the man wasn’t looking for him.
Some of us may be like this man was, trying to be made whole, or trying to become satisfied with no results. We realize that there is something more for us in life but we just can’t seem to take hold of it, someone else always gets what we think we deserve. We make excuses for why things are like they are, “nobody will help me” “someone else gets all the breaks”, we all know about making excuses, there are millions of them. Sometimes despite ourselves we have an encounter with Jesus, and we may not even recognize that it’s him, but during this encounter we realize that we can’t do it on our own and that’s when the healing begins. It may take a little while but Jesus continues to seek us out and continues to work in our lives and then our eyes become open and we realize that Jesus has been in our midst and changed us. We realize that Jesus has pursued us even though we weren’t looking for Him.
Now the women is a different story, she had tried everything in her power in order to be made whole. She knew she couldn’t do it on her own and had been to countless doctors, and spent all her money trying to find the cure. She knew she needed someone other than herself to make it happen and was seeking and searching for someone or something that would make her well. One day she heard about Jesus and that’s when her life became changed. She said if only I could just touch the hem of his garment I will be made whole. This woman was desperate for an encounter with Jesus and she fought through the crowd and reached out and when she touched Him, she immediately was made whole.