Summary: We all have baggage in our lives, so what do you do when you want to get rid of your spiritual baggage? By interacting with an unnamed woman in Mark 5:24-31 Jesus demonstrates that He is the One who can remove all our baggage.
Congregation of the Lord,
Going to the airport is an interesting exercise … especially when you stand near the baggage counters.
Here you will see business people – focussed, efficient, having clear goals for the day. They have come from interstate for an important meeting. It is all obvious by the small amount of baggage they are carrying.
Here also you will see people who carry far too much baggage than is necessary. You see them check-in a couple of large suitcases, but the date of their return visit is only four days away. Why so much baggage for such a short trip?
Then there is the Dad who is obviously taking his family on a holiday. He has so much baggage that he needs two trolleys to carry it. The holiday is going to be fun – once they finally reach their destination.
So much baggage. Some is light, some is heavy. Some is unnecessary, some is overwhelming. All of it is a burden in some way. All of it weighs the passenger down. It happens at airports. It happens in our lives as well. In one way or another we all carry around our baggage.
• It could be the shame of a sin that can’t be conquered – baggage which comes because we feel defeated.
• It could be the feeling which comes with unconfessed sin, or unreconciled differences – that is the baggage of guilt.
• It could be baggage we have carried for many years as a result of a sin we committed years ago – we know the forgiveness of God but we carry the baggage of not being able to forgive ourselves.
All this baggage weights us down – some is heavy some is light – but it all stops us from having a fuller relationship with the Lord. When that is the case in our lives the important question becomes, “Is it possible to get rid of this baggage?”. The answer is “Yes” … and the reason why the answer is yes is found in Mark 5:24-34 which shows us how we can get rid of our spiritual baggage.
Let’s start by having a closer look at the circumstances of the women. Mark describes it in this way
A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she got worse.
These few words betray the magnitude of the suffering this woman has gone through.
The bleeding which this woman experienced was a bleeding that was unique to women. It caused constant distress. It meant constant mess and constant cleaning. On many occasions in the day she would be checking her clothes to make sure the blood wasn’t leaking through. Her doctors had no idea what to do about it. She had seen so many of them and each new doctor meant going through another shameful explanation and intrusive examination. With each doctor came a new set of instructions for healing … and many times the cure would be worse than the cause. No wonder she went from bad to worse.
But that is not where it stopped. Because this women is a Jewess she was also subject to many Levitical laws with dealt with this issue. We are going to read a portion of Scripture from Leviticus. Before we do so let me warn you that it touches on personal female issues. We are not reading this text to make all the woman here feel uncomfortable rather, we need to read this text to have a Biblical understanding of what this woman in out text is experiencing. The reading is from Leviticus 15:19-25.
When a woman has her regular flow of blood, the impurity of her monthly period will last seven days, and anyone who touches her will be unclean till evening. Anything she lies on during her period will be unclean, and anything she sits on will be unclean. Whoever touches her bed must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. Whoever touches anything she sits on must wash his clothes and bathe with water, and he will be unclean till evening. 23 Whether it is the bed or anything she was sitting on, when anyone touches it, he will be unclean till evening. If a man lies with her and her monthly flow touches him, he will be unclean for seven days; any bed he lies on will be unclean. When a woman has a discharge of blood for many days at a time other than her monthly period or has a discharge that continues beyond her period, she will be unclean as long as she has the discharge, just as in the days of her period.