Summary: This is the third in this series based in Luke 4:16-21 and using Mark 5:1-20 as the main text.
THE UNEXPECTED JESUS
"Healing the Brokenhearted"
INTRODUCTION: On Easter Sunday, April 16, 1865, after having been stabbed repeatedly by a man
named Lewis Paine, Secretary of State William Seward, lay in a hospital bed physically crippled
and emotionally drained. And to top it all off, he had not yet been told that his close friend,
President Abraham Lincoln was dead. So, wanting a better view of the trees that were just
beginning to bloom outside, he asked to have his bed moved closer to the window. As he gazed out
upon the beautiful new life in the outside world, he spotted the flag atop the War Department
building. It was flying at half-staff. He knew immediately what it meant, but it took a few
minutes to sink in. When it did he began to weep and to cry out loud, "The President it dead."
His nurse tried to deny it, but he knew his friend was gone. Overwhelmed by his own situation
and his grief for President Lincoln, he began to cry uncontrollably, shaking and weeping until
the bandages that held his wounds together were soaked with his tears and his blood. Jesus met
many who were brokenhearted, but one that stands out in my mind is a solitary figure whose
faith was greater than her affliction. READ TEXT Jesus had been given the power to heal the
brokenhearted, and this dear lady’s life was is shambles by her physical affliction. Jesus
brought her healing in more ways than one.
I. LIFE IN DESPAIR
A. It is hard to imagine just how miserable this woman’s life had become. I doubt seriously is
any of us could even remotely identify with her physical struggles and shame.
1. She was deathly ill and had been that way for 12 years. 12 years. This was probably a third
of her life, and it had been spent battling an embarrassing affliction that had ostracized her
from everyone she knew.
2. She could not be with her family and friends because she was unclean. No one was allowed to
touch her, keep company with her, even speak to her because of her illness. The Law called for
her to be cast out of the city until she was healed, and she might very well have been cast out
at one time.
3. The only ones who might even dare associate with her were the lepers. They had nothing to
lose. She could not bring them any greater harm that the plague of leprosy had already brought. But they had enough problems of their own.
4. Even the Temple was off-limits to her. If she entered it, she would defile it, and that simply
would not do. So, even God’s house was beyond her reach. Imagine how great her sorrow must have
5. She was an outcast in the middle of outcasts with no one to turn to, no one to share her
sorrow with, and no one to help her in any way. She was all alone in her misery and her
B. I can see some of us in her story. No, not everyone has such a burdensome physical illness,
but some of us do. Others carry spiritual illnesses that keep us brokenhearted and separated
from family, friends and more importantly, God. At times her shoes fit us quite easily and
there seems no way to find relief.