Summary: The gospel account of the woman who reached out and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment is a very moving one and contains an incredible lesson on faith.
FAITH TO TOUCH THE HEM OF HIS GARMENT
Matthew 9:18-22 (NIV)
18 While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." 19 Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples. 20 Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." 22 Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment.
Matthew, Mark and Luke record for us this remarkable sudden interruption in the life of Jesus of the lady with the blood issue. You can almost see Jesus talking to John’s disciples about fasting when a ruler approaches Jesus whose daughter has died. Jesus was leaving with the ruler and suddenly bursting upon the scene is this woman whose faith is so uncharacteristic of our time, to touch the hem of His garment.
Let’s take a moment today and open our lives as the life of this woman is laid bare before us, and allow her faith to challenge our faith.
I. FAITH REFLECTIVE OF JESUS
We learn so much about faith from this woman. As we look into her faith, we see that her faith was reflective of who Jesus is.
Faith is supernatural. The natural world scoffs at faith. Although Jesus was in the natural world., he also worked in the realm of the supernatural.
This woman had tried all the natural means of trying to be healed of the hemorrhaging of the womb she had had for 12 years.
Luke 8:43 (NIV)
43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.
Mark 5:25-26 (NIV)
25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.
The Jewish rabbinical book of teachings and opinions called the Talmud prescribed some 11 cures for hemorrhaging. But nothing worked. She was in despair!
Having tried all resources she was left to the realm of faith (supernatural). In Jesus she felt the sense of an all conquering power. She believed that He had the resources that could make her whole again.
His Resources are Available.
Her faith allowed her to discover those resources that are available through Jesus Christ, the Son of God. She believed with all her heart, that somehow these resources of healing were for her. And even though she was unimportant (Jesus talking with a ruler of the synagogue) and obscure she wanted His help!
Two things that bring men and women to Jesus Christ, are deep felt personal need, and genuine faith. She had both of them and was acceptable to the Lord.
No Barriers to His Love.
Faith knows no barriers. To place barriers upon our faith is really not faith but sight. As this women approached Jesus there were no barriers to hinder Him from loving her. The woman’s need was private, only Jesus would understand. It is His love that we want when the world says, "Leave us alone!" and friends (some even Christian) coldly say, "You think you have problems…"Jesus loves and cares like no one else. His love draws us to Him.
Many barriers had been placed upon her life, because of her condition. She lived and understood barriers. But her condition and state was no barrier for Jesus. His love transcends all boundaries and barriers in life.
Not even the barrier of believing she would interrupt Jesus stopped her. The interruption (unplanned) became an opportunity for her to experience the love of Jesus.
No person in need ever interfered with Jesus’ ministry, even today!
Her faith reflects the goodness of Jesus. For it is His goodness that turns our problems into occasions for hope. There is in Christ, even in the darkest of days, reason to hope. He has the power to fill each life on earth with hope and light. This woman believed this and thus experienced it.
II. FAITH TO COME JUST AS I AM
This woman’s faith also brings to us another fact of faith. We can go to Jesus just as we are.This woman had no other choice but to come to Jesus just as she was. Through all her means of trying to be healed, with no success, she now turned to Jesus just as she was.
According to Levitical law she was unclean.