Summary: Jesus is waiting for us to just reach out and touch Him, like the woman with the issue of blood. Everybody has "issues" ... Jesus can meet them.
“Reach Out And Touch Him”
INTRODUCTION: Read Mark 5:21-24
The story begins with a request by Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, for Jesus to heal his daughter. Then, on the way to his house, they are interrupted by a sick woman … 5:25-34. Then, after dealing with this sick woman, word came that Jairus’ daughter had died. The rest of the chapter deals with Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead.
I’ve preached on the raising of Jairus’ daughter several times, but I’ve never preached on the woman with the issue of blood.
The sick woman seemed to be an interruption in the story … an inconvenience for Jairus … a detour from the important things in Jairus’ life. I’m sure Jairus must have been waiting impatiently, sitting on pins and needles, after being interrupted by this sick woman. After all, his daughter was sick too, near death, and time was of the essence. We even see that, while Jesus was dealing with this sick woman, Jairus’ daughter did die … 5:23, 35.
The miracle we look at this morning is a “wayside miracle” … an “over-splash” of God’s grace, mercy, love and power. It seems as if she wasn’t the focus of the journey that Jesus was on. But, Jesus took the time to meet her need as well. Sometimes I will prepare a message for a particular need in the church. It will be directed toward an individual or an individual need. But another will hear it, and God will speak to their heart … an “over-splash” of God’s grace, mercy, love and power.
But, let’s not dismiss the importance of this sick woman. Let’s not treat her as merely a parenthesis in the greater story of Jairus and his need. It’s for a reason she is mentioned by Matthew, Mark and Luke in their gospels.
Let’s follow the path of this woman’s healing.
I. HER DIFFICULTY - 5:25 - She’s not mentioned by name. She had been sick for 12 years with an abnormal bleeding condition. Her blood wouldn’t clot normally, and her constant bleeding caused her to be weak, tired, frail, and drained of energy. It’s one thing to have a bad day, week, month, or year … but this woman had a bad 12 years!
Under Jewish law, she was “untouchable” … cut off from the rest of society, an outcast. She couldn’t marry, or if she was married, her condition was grounds for divorce. She couldn’t go to the temple to worship. She couldn’t socialize … she was an outcast. According to Leviticus, anything or anybody she touched would be considered “unclean”. If touched, that person must wash their clothes, take a bath, and would be considered “unclean” until the evening. She infected everyone and everything she touched. For 12 long years, she had lived in this isolation.
Everybody has “issues”. For this woman, it was an “issue” (KJV) of blood. You may have some unresolved “issues” that you brought with you here this morning.
· Physical issues – Maybe something the doctors haven’t been able to resolve.
· Financial issues – Maybe you feel overwhelmed and burdened down.
· Social issues – Maybe you’re dealing with problems with your family, friends.
· Spiritual issues – Maybe you have some sin problems that are weighing you down.
Everybody has “issues” … and, maybe they’ve been going on for more than 12 years. When did this woman find RELIEF from her “issues”? She found relief when she fell down at the feet of Jesus. That’s a good starting place to find relief … at the feet of Jesus.
II. HER DESPAIR – 5:26 - Most people would rather have “health” than “wealth”. She was no exception, except that she lost BOTH. She had tried every doctor and every cure, but all it did was make her sicker and poorer. The Talmud (ancient Jewish writings) gave 11 different cures for bleeding. Beside tonics and other remedies, one cure was for the inflicted to carry the ashes of an ostrich egg in a linen bag in the summer, and in a cotton bag in the winter. Another cure was to carry around a barley corn that was found in the dung of a white she-ass. One scholar lists common remedies of that day to include eating grasshopper eggs, carrying around the tooth of a fox, and carrying around the fingernail of a person who has been hanged! Common remedies included cutting and burning of the infected area.
This woman sought every available cure and every available doctor. Nothing worked, and now she is both sick and broke.
People try all sorts of “cures” today for their SPIRITUAL ailments.
· Dr. Morality – They try to get on God’s good side by living a moral, upright life.