Gracefully Truthful

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
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Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 8:43-48

43 A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, 44 approached from behind and touched the end of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.”

46 “Someone did touch me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed. 48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”

The Original Intent

1) Did the woman have faith in the garment Jesus wore, in the person who wore it, or something else?

Under Old Testament law, this woman’s bleeding made her “unclean” and anything she touched became unclean as well. She wasn’t permitted to participate in any religious ceremonies or services. (Leviticus 15:19-30

The woman Jesus encountered was an outcast and had been for twelve years. The woman was shamed, rejected and utterly broken both mentally and physically, while also financially exhausted. (Mark 5:26She was desperate and quite willing to do anything for relief. She had heard of the Rabbi Jesus, and on seeing the crowd pressing in close to Jesus, she knew had her chance for one more hope at healing.

Bible student, Hendrickson, notes of this woman, “Her faith was imperfect, or without an understanding of exactly Who Jesus was, but the main fact is she had faith”. If she could just touch the hem of his garment she believed she would be healed.

There was no real connection between the actual simple touch of her finer and her healing, but she reasoned expectantly there was. She expected her healing to be done by material contact of her finger to Jesus’ robe. She had no idea that Christ’s will, or more significantly, His love, would procure her healing. 

Because of her shameful condition, the woman is afraid to come out in the open. She will not come into physical contact with Jesus himself. She will press along, crawling on the ground amid the masses of people, merely to touch His garment. The woman presumed Jesus would never notice what was happening.

This woman, desperate for healing, truly had no idea of the depth of character of Jesus, not realizing His power was divine, as well as His extravagant love. She had heard of His power, of His miraculous signs, and many other wonderful healings, so in shameful desperation, she came to Christ as low and humble as she could, reaching out in faith and hope.

The Everyday Application

1) Did the woman have faith in the garment Jesus wore, in the person who wore it, or something else?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is the confident assurance, the deep knowing, that what has been revealed and promised in Scripture are true, even though they are unseen. This woman had faith she would be healed by the mere touch of Jesus’ garment. Did she have a full understanding of Jesus as the divine Son of God? Likely not, but she took all she had and surrendered it to all she knew of Jesus, even if her understanding wasn’t perfect.

As she reached out in faith and was instantly healed, Jesus called her out of the shadows to meet Him face to face. Jesus said to her, with great tenderness, “Daughter, your faith has saved you, go in peace.” (verse 48)

Theologian, L. Morris, notes, “Jesus, in calling out this woman, called her to a confession in public in the presence of all people in that crowd. Here she stood face to face with Christ, sharing what she had done and why, and now declaring her healing. This was a complete disclosure.”

How easy it is to go about our daily busyness, getting up, tending to the family, or the job, etc and, all the while, having faith knowing God is present, yet not really being jolted to confess that faith publicly.  We have these opportunities daily in our personal connections with others anywhere at any time. Whether it’s the grocery in the checkout line conversing with the employee, with our children, our spouse, or whomever we encounter in our daily walk, these are invitations to declare how Christ has saved us! “By His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 3:5)

When we receive Christ as our Savior, we are declared, just as this woman in Luke, healed through our faith and saved by undeserved grace. God does not call the equipped, He equips the called, and as Christians, we are called to share what Christ has done. Christ’s last words on earth were, “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19) Sharing our faith isn’t a suggestion; it’s a command. Live out your faith in everyday life so “others may see your good deeds and glorify God.” (Matthew 5:16)

The Original Intent

2) Why was the miracle Jesus had set out to perform interrupted by yet another miracle?

Looking back to verses 40-42, we find Jesus on his way to the house of Jairus a leader in the synagogue. This man of high repute, fell at Jesus’ feet and began pleading with Him to come to his house because his only daughter, who was twelve, was dying. Jesus responded to Jairus’ urgent request and went with him. (Mark 5:24)

As they traveled, the crowds pressed in close to Jesus (verse 45), making the progression to Jairus’ home a slow and difficult process. In the midst of these surging crowds, the prime opportunity arose for the unclean woman to quietly come from behind and touch Jesus’ garment unnoticed. Her actions, however, caused an abrupt interruption to the journey to Jairus’ home for the healing of his daughter who lay dying. As one can imagine, this was very distressing and anxiety producing for Jairus!

As soon as the woman touched Jesus’ garment, her bleeding stopped. In that instant, in the middle of being pressed on all sides by the surging crowd, Jesus asked a strange question, “who touched Me?”. (verse 45) The difference Jesus spoke of was that no one deliberately touched Jesus with purposeful faith except one woman.

The healing of the woman delayed Jesus from going to Jairus’ home, in what surely felt like an eternity to Jairus, but it did not stop Christ’s purposes. However, the delay to the dying girl was long enough that, even while Jesus was speaking to the woman who was healed, word came that Jairus’ precious daughter had died. (Luke 8:49) This set the stage for an even more incredible opportunity for a tremendous miracle, the raising of Jairus’ daughter from death.

Interruptions in Jesus’ earthly ministry occurred frequently, but were always used for His purpose of glorifying the Father, the One who sent Him.

The Everyday Application

2) Why was the miracle Jesus had set out to perform interrupted by yet another miracle?

The healing of a woman with a flow of blood for twelve years is a miracle sandwiched between two halves of another miracle, the resurrection of Jairus’ daughter. What makes the healing of this woman unique is that it was performed without a word being spoken beforehand. The woman was not asking for attention from Jesus, in fact, she was hoping for the opposite. She did not want to be noticed, her life was full of rejection and shame, it would be mortifying to add to that shame by publicly asking for healing. Her faith was small, but she still put to use the faith she had and chose to trust Jesus would make a difference.

As her healing interrupted the raising of Jairus’ daughter, Jairus’ faith was also stretched. Would he still trust Jesus if his daughter died? Would he still be willing to publicly follow Christ if he interpreted this turn of events as being unfair or unloving towards him and his daughter?

God used the interruption to grow the faith of both the woman and Jairus. These two miracles are linked, not only in their parallel of occurrence, but also in that both needed Christ to heal them and grow their faith. It does not matter our life circumstances, we all need salvation which is available only through Christ. (Acts 4:10-12)

Wherever we are in our faith journey, there is always opportunity to be stretched and grow deeper in our faith. Both the bleeding woman and the girl were recipients of God’s perfect love at work that day, but Jairus, his family, the woman’s family, and everyone in the crowd also bore witness to another opportunity to strengthen their own faith.

Again and again throughout Jesus earthly ministry, there were interruptions as He spoke to the masses (Luke 5:17-19), conversed with His disciples (Mark 1:29-30) and even while He slept (Mark 4:38) or prayed (Mark 1:35-37). None of these interruptions floored Him. Not for a moment is Jesus at a loss as to what to do or say. He is the Son of man and the Son of God, 100% human and 100% God.

What would be devastating for us as an interruption is merely a springboard, or golden opportunity, for Jesus to reveal His power, wisdom, and love to us for the glory of God.

The Original Intent

3) What characteristics of Christ are evidenced through this miraculous healing?

A beautiful quality in this story is that, from the moment Jesus was face to face with the woman, there seemed to be no one else there except the two of them.

The miracle happened in the middle of a crowd of sweaty, pressing people on all sides, but the crowd was forgotten and Jesus spoke to the woman as if she were the only person in the world. She was a poor, unimportant sufferer, with a sickness rendering her unclean, impoverished, overlooked, cast out, and downtrodden. Yet, to that one, unimportant person, Jesus gave all of Himself. 

Jesus always has time for us, whether we are the highest ranking official (like Jairus) or the lowest on poverty’s row (like the woman). Even in this circumstance, when a girls’ life hung in the balance and her father probably wished Jesus would hurry up and stay focused on his needs, Jesus, unhurried, made time for both. In this, Jesus exemplifies the love of His Father to us, which was His entire mission on earth. “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you.” (John 15:9)

The Everyday Application

3) What characteristics of Christ are evidenced through this miraculous healing?

Paul writes in Galatians that the evidences of Christ changing a heart show up as work produced by the Holy Spirit. Some of these are love, joy, peace, and patience. In this scene, Jesus was abounding with patient love as He waited for the woman to come forward, confessing she had touched His robe. She was ashamed and embarrassed of her condition, and then she was caught, found out, and called into the light. Not for further disgrace, but for healing, the giving of peace, and the overflowing of joy as she became fully known by her Savior.

Jesus displayed gentle love and tender kindness towards her as He called her “Daughter”.  Love continued unfolding like endless waves on the sea as Christ spoke over her, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace!” Can you imagine what that would be like?! YES, actually we can!

As His children, born anew, saved by grace from the chains of our sin, called out of our shame to become known as “Daughter”, we can experience what this woman did! Hallelujah and Amen!! Each of us have the opportunity to experience this complete redemption if we extend all we know of Christ and reach out with that faith to trust Him fully.

Our faith may be small, our shame may be great, but Jesus desires for us to be known and lavished with His love, His joy, and His peace, as He patiently waits for us to come to Him by faith. When we experience this radical love of Jesus, we can tell others of what it’s like to stand in His presence and be known as Daughter. As we go on our way each day, we experience His mighty love, grace, and peace that go beyond our wildest imaginations!

The more deeply we surrender, the more fully we experience Jesus! And the JOY, OH MY, THE JOY that OVERFLOWS our souls as we surrender more and more is like nothing else! The older I get, the closer my walk with the Father becomes. It is not at all uncommon to find myself, alone and chatting aloud with my Lord and my God. I suppose, if observed, I would be classified as something “unusual”, but that doesn’t matter. What matters is I am His and He is mine.

Many Christians quit growing in their faith at some point for many reasons. Difficulty along the way, somebody hurt us, prayers weren’t answered as we hoped, or we simply became complacent. We all make plenty of mistakes as we journey with the Lord, our first step of faith is certainly not the last. We find ourselves choosing sin physically or mentally, labeling people wrongly, making poor judgements, speaking hurtful words, and choosing sinful actions. How I’ve ‘been there, done that!’. UGH! These are the times to fall on God’s grace and forgiveness, stretch out your hand of faith to the Savior again, get back up, come into the light, and let Him remind you of your name, “Daughter”.  Then go, share the Good News of being set free with everyone.

Let Christ’s characteristics of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control flow through you as you keep on surrendering to the Holy Spirit. Declare what God has done for you with your words and your life!

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