Summary: The Woman with the issue of blood touched the hem of Jesus' garment and was healed. But why the hem? There's power in knowing why!
Touching the Hem of His Garment
Sunday, March 13, 2016
By Rev. James May
I’m sure that most of you can guess where this message is going to come from in the Bible. Turn with me to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 8.
Luke 8:40 And it came to pass, that, when Jesus was returned, the people gladly received him: for they were all waiting for him.
Luke 8:41 And, behold, there came a man named Jairus, and he was a ruler of the synagogue: and he fell down at Jesus' feet, and besought him that he would come into his house:
Luke 8:42 For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him.
Luke 8:43 And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
Luke 8:45 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
Luke 8:46 And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
Luke 8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
I’ve heard this story all of my life. Having grown up in church and studying the Bible for a long time, there are still a lot of things that I just took for granted that I understood. I’ve come to know, as I’ve grown wiser, that what I thought I fully understand, I really don’t understand much at all. There is always so much more to learn, no matter how much I think I know. This story of the woman being healed of an issue of blood is one of those stories that I only thought I understood.
So today, I want to take you a little deeper into the events and the circumstances surrounding this great healing miracle, and I hope that before this morning is done, what I have to give to you will help you to better understand what really happened and why every detail of the story is so very important in the strengthening of your faith and your understanding of the Word of God.
The fact of the miracle is easy to understand. This little woman has been sick for 12 long years. She has done everything she knows how to do. The scriptures tell us of all that she did, all to no avail. She was growing weaker every day and unless she had a miracle, she knew that she was going to die in a short time. She needed a physical miracle because the medical skills of the doctors in her day just weren’t advanced enough to help her. She had reached the end of her rope and had lost all hope of receiving help from anyone around her.
Added to her physical issues, there were the social and spiritual issues of her condition. Because she had an issue of blood, she was considered ceremonially unclean and could not mix with other people. She could not attend worship at the synagogue. She was shunned by everyone around her because if they even touched her, they too would be considered as unclean.
She stayed to herself most of the time. Certainly she could only have had a few friends, but even they kept their distance. Chances are that she lived in secret places, hiding in the shadows, moving only in times when there wasn’t much activity going on. It was like she was a stranger in her own town.
When I read about her condition, I am reminded that all of us are born with an issue of blood. No, it’s not the same thing that she had, but the effect that it has upon us is just as bad, and perhaps even worse.
We are all born in sin, with the sin-tainted blood of Adam, through which we inherit a fallen nature. We can try every effort we want to in order to try and purify ourselves, but no matter what we try, we are considered as “unclean”; lost in the eyes of God and dead in sin. We are living flesh, with a dead spirit, that is growing weaker every day and drawing closer to the grave with every breath we take. No man can help us, for all men are in the same condition.