Summary: A woman’s faith leads to her healing.
The Healing Touch
I want to talk this morning about faith - the instrumental quality of faith. I want to begin by asking you a fairly simple question. Does your faith remove your mountains or do your mountains remove your faith?
It was F. B. Meyer who said, "It is unbelief that puts our circumstances between us and God." It is unbelief that puts our circumstances between us and God. But faith puts God between us and our circumstances. And this morning I’d like us to see what faith can do for a person when it is biblically applied faith, placed in Jesus Christ. We all know that we are not saved by faith plus works but we also know that we are saved by a faith that works. Now there’s a principle we need to keep in mind as we go along here. It’s very important to understand this principle the right way around. It’s this - "Faith changes us, not God." Faith changes us, not God. You see, sometimes, I think we think that if we can muster up enough faith, that it will change the heart of God. But, God, is the same. He is the source. His resources never change. His mercy never fades. His power does not diminish. Because it’s not he who needs to be changed. And it’s faith that allows our never-changing God to turn loose his resources in our behalf. It’s getting ourselves into a state of expectancy and anticipation so that God can flow through us. God is our source and his supplies do not run out. God is not bankrupt. He’s not in a depression. And he’s ready this morning to meet the needs represented here. No matter how large the mountain is that may be standing between you and God, God can help you with it.
I want you to notice several things with me about this precious lady this morning. Because she really speaks to me. She’s an encouragement to my heart because I don’t want to play church. I don’t want to just be going through the motions. Rather, I want to lift my heart before God and say, Oh God, I have a need that only you can meet.
1. First of all, look at the determination of this lady’s faith. Do you see it there in verses 25 & 26? (Read).
Jesus is on his way to restore the health of a 12 year old girl. There’s a great crowd following Jesus. They wanted to see what he was going to do, what great miracle he would perform. Perhaps there were those in the crowd who hadn’t seen Jesus before and they were there just to see if he really could perform a miracle at all. But there was one in that great crowd following Jesus, not to see what he would do for someone else, as wonderful as that is, but she was following Jesus to see what he would do for her. It’s wonderful to come to Christ and want something personal. It’s not selfish. And it’s not wrong. It’s wonderful to ask God to bless the people around you and to pour out his Spirit upon them. But the thing that really glorifies God and really strikes notes with his heart is when you say, "Oh God, pour out your spirit into my life. I’m so needy. I need you." When we get personal with God, God begins to move in, in a very special way.
Now I don’t believe for a moment that the only person in that crowd who had a need was this lady. This crowd was all types of people representing all types of needs. And I’m not naive enough to believe she was the only one who had a need in that great crowd of followers. But, she was the only one that we have record of, who had faith enough to do something about her need. She was the only one with faith enough to let this problem that she had, bring her to Jesus.
I’m reminded of the man who was visiting a lady who was bedridden in the hospital. She had some sort of crippling accident. And this lady, though she was confined to bed, had learned how to appropriate the peace of God and she witnessed to everyone who came to visit her. And as the man was visiting with her and saw her bed-ridden condition, he said to her, "Tragedy sure colours life, doesn’t it?" And she looked at him with a smile and she said, "Yes, it does. But by the grace of God, I have decided, I will choose the colours." Now friends, that’s what faith really is.
And I believe that this lady that we read about this morning, had determination of faith because when I read about her situation, I’m amazed that she had any faith at all. Look at her condition. Twelve years she had a bleeding cancer. She constantly and continually, for 12 years, had a hemmoraging discharge. And if you want to learn how they treated people in that way, you turn back to the Levitical law and there in Leviticus, chapter 15, verses 25-27 you’ll find that anyone who was afflicted with any kind of condition like that was absolutely excluded from any type of communication and socialization. You were treated as though you were unclean. You wouldn’t have been able to worship in a place like this. You couldn’t sit down to a meal with other people. You were literally considered an outcast, emotionally, socially and spiritually. And so this poor woman for 12 years had been under this condition. And she had been under the care of many doctors, and exhausted all her resources, and she grew worse. I admire this lady because I think if I’d have been her, I’d have gotten to the point where I said, "Enough is enough." But she didn’t. She was not about to quit.