Summary: Often our needs are not met because of hindrances that are in our life that we could do something about. This messages speaks of such hindrances and how to overcome them.
Overcoming the Hindrances of Life
INTRODUCTION: In this scripture, people were already waiting for Jesus before He even stepped off the ship. Right away there was an emergency. His first request was from a man, Jarius, a ruler of the synagogue, to go lay hands on his only daughter who was at the point of death. Jesus said that He would go. As He was making His way through the crowd, He was interrupted. Jesus stopped and asked, “Who touched me?” The disciples were a little bit irritated by this question because there were so many people in the crowd that any number of people could have touched him. And besides they were on their way to a “real” emergency. They were going to pray for the daughter of an “important” person. They didn’t have time to stop for this. But Jesus said, “No, I felt healing power (virtue) go out of me to someone.” The woman, trembling with fear, came forward and told Jesus everything.
Background Information on the Woman:
What do we know about this woman? She had a serious medical problem. Scripture tells us that she had had a chronic problem for 12 years, and she had gone to lots of doctors, had spent all of her money, and she still wasn’t well. She, in fact, was worse and would probably continue to get worse.
The account in Luke 8:44 tells us that the woman walked up behind Jesus and touched the border of his garment. Why did she do this? She did not want to be detected for two reasons:
1. She was probably embarrassed by her problem
2. She was considered ceremonially unclean according to Leviticus 15:25
She was not to touch anyone.
She thought she could be undetected in such a large crowd, she could touch the hem, and she could go away healed.
At that time there was a cultural superstition that the power of a person was transmitted to his clothing. This woman may have shared this belief that was common in her day that the power was transmitted to Jesus’ clothing and that if only she could touch the hem of His garment she would be healed.
She was probably not the most spiritual person at that point in her life. Really, Jesus was her LAST RESORT. She had tried everything else first.
But she did have her measure of faith. She had heard about what Jesus had done for other people. At her starting point she may have had a mixture of faith and superstition because she touched the hem of His garment.
Why did Jesus take the time to stop and call her out?
Jesus wanted her to come forward not to rebuke her but to show her two things:
1. that it was her FAITH that had made her whole and not the superstitious act of touching the hem of His garment.
2. also to allow her to make a public confession and to cancel the uncleanness ritual of society that had been on her.
Jesus wanted to take the faith she already had and fan it into a flame of higher faith.
Then Jesus said to her, “Go in Peace.” This was a traditional Jewish formula of leave taking. The woman was completely healed, she was now in a right relationship with God, and she also had Jesus’ blessing upon her as she left. I think this was a great day for her, don’t you?
TRANSITION: Hindrances in her way
In spite of the fact that Jesus was in town, this woman had to overcome several hindrances before she actually got to Jesus. Let’s look at some of the hindrances that could have kept her from receiving her healing.
1. Lack of Money: She was financially a poor woman by now. She had spent all she had on doctors. She could have said, “I don’t have any money to get there. I can’t afford it. She may have said, “I’m on a fixed income.” How many people say this? A lack of finances could have been a very big hindrance to her.
She did not allow this to hinder her because at the beginning of the scripture reading she was there in the crowd. She had gotten from her home and at least was a part of the crowd.
2. Giving up on her problem: In spite of the fact that Jesus was in town, this woman had to overcome a hindrance that could be more powerful than a lack of money. She had already done all she could do and she still wasn’t well. She could have been to the point where she was ready to give up and just say, “I don’t think anything will help, and I’m not going to try anymore. I don’t think there is an answer to my problem.” What are your feelings about what can or can’t happen in your life? Has that become a hindrance for you?