Summary: The results of one womans faith who reaches out to Jesus. The difference that faith makes
SBC Philippi 2/12/06; Rev. Jeff Simms
A Woman Reaches Out to Jesus Mark 5:25-34
Primary Purpose: To look at the faith that healed a woman suffering for 12 years.
The main character in our message today suffered a chronic disease which she was told she had to live with. She had gone to every doctor there was. Taken every miracle pill and tried everything and had gotten worse. Then, she went to Jesus and that made everything change in an instant.
This story is told here in Mark 5, but also in Matthew 9:20-22 and in Luke 8:43-48. In each case, it is seen as an interruption. Jesus was on his way to heal the daughter of a man named Jairus. The main character in the story sneaks up to Jesus without the intent of even speaking to him. She doesn’t believe she even needs to or maybe doesn’t think she’s worthy to. She says to herself, “If I just touch the fringe of his garment, I’ll be healed and this nightmare will be over.” So, she does just as she plans and is instantly healed of her disease.
We don’t know exactly what the nature of this woman’s problem is. In some translations it just says she was hemorrhaging for 12 years. This was a serious problem not just for her health, but also in her relationship to the church at that time. In Leviticus 15:25 it says that anyone who has a issue of blood will become unclean. It was typical that a woman would become unclean once a month during her period. But, this woman hadn’t been allowed to worship for the past 12 years. Also, anyone she touched would also become unclean because of contact with her. This would mean that social contacts with other would become less frequent. Maybe that’s why she is afraid to call attention to herself.
This is why it is also important to realize just how “whole” Jesus made this woman. When Jesus finally does speak to her look at how he addresses her. He calls her “daughter” in verse 34. The word “daughter” is the Greek word Thugater (thoo-gat’-air) and it means a daughter of God, acceptable to God, rejoicing in God’s peculiar care and protection. Jesus stressed with one word that she was acceptable to God as well as man. It is faith that hers that makes people a part of God’s family.
A key word in this text is the word “whole”. The word is used three different times here. Her desire is to become “whole” she says in verse 28. In verse 34, Jesus uses this same word twice. The first reference to “whole” in the KJV is a reference to salvation from her physical affliction. But, the second expression means she was to continue in her healthy state. In other words, this disease isn’t going to come back tomorrow. Whatever affliction she had later in life, this wasn’t going to haunt her again. Jesus makes people whole were the sins and disease of the past are cast as far as the east is from the west. We don’t have to keep going back to the same problems or guilt. He forgives, he heals and he still makes whole today.
Notice that Jesus doesn’t allow her to go off without a word. He asks who is touching him because he is aware that power has gone out of him. The power went out as a result of her faith in Him. Peter seems to say to him “What do you mean who is touching you. The whole crowd of us are touching you.” The word Peter actually uses is that the crowd “thronged” him or pressed in on him from every side. But, Jesus knew that this touch was for a specific purpose. He wanted to call attention to the faith that she had. He wanted to do that, so that God could get the glory for the healing that had happened. In Hebrews 11:1,6 it says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” This truth is still true today with us. We must understand that if we have faith to believe in God we must believe he is a rewarder of those who seek Him. It is that same kind of faith that would be mentioned in Mark 10:52 when a blind man is healed. It was his faith that made him well.
In sharp contrast to this is the time when Jesus went to his hometown. It is a story that is mentioned later in Mark in Mark 6:1-6. He went to his hometown and taught in the synagogue. You would think that these people would be rejoicing in what God was doing through the hometown hero. But, in verse 3 it says they took offense at him. Then again, in verse 5-6 it tells us that Jesus couldn’t do many miracles there except lay hands on a few sick people because of their unbelief. The only time that Jesus’ power was limited and it was because of the unbelief of the people. Maybe that’s why Jesus made his headquarters in Galilee in Capernaum and not in Nazareth.