Matt. 9:18–22; Mark 5:21–34 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 begged Him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter about twelve years of age, and she was dying. But as He went, the multitudes thronged Him. 43 Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, 44 came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. 45 And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 46 But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” 47 Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. 48 And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”
When we need to visit the doctor we do so because we believe that he or she has the knowledge and ability to deal with our problem. If my car needs serviced or repaired I go to a mechanic confident that he will have the knowledge and ability to do the job. In many areas of life we need the ability and skills of a professional or expert. DIY is fine for some things, but it certainly has its limitations. You only have to look at some DIY jobs to know that!
As we read the gospels we see how multitudes came to Jesus because of His power and ability to heal and make whole. Luke chapter 8 records four particular incidents which demonstrate the power of Christ. We see >His Power over nature in Luke 8:22-25 as He stilled the wind and the water. >His Power over demons Luke 8:26-39 as He expelled them from the man in Gadara. >His Power over death Luke 8:40-42, 49-56 as He raised to life Jarius’ daughter. >His Power over disease Luke 8:43-48 as He healed the woman with a hemorrhage.
His power over nature demonstrates that He is the Creator. Demonic possession and activity represent spiritual wickedness and moral uncleanness while the latter two conditions of death and disease represent physical and ceremonial uncleanness in the context of Judaism according to the law. When the Lord Jesus came into contact with such situations He remained undefiled and untainted. Why? Because He is pure holiness. But more than that, He dealt with these cases by expelling the demons, raising the dead and healing the sick. In His presence and by His power what was defiling and unclean disappeared.
It is so important to understand that Christ is not only an Almighty Saviour, He is also a Sinless Saviour! No less a Saviour could meet our need. There was no circumstance beyond His power as He ministered here. There is no soul He cannot save when they turn to Him and there is no force, either of nature, devil or men that will ever overcome Him or defeat Him. He is invincible. The empty tomb and the filled throne are testimony.
The two stories, Jarius’ daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage, intersect by circumstances and interconnect as a comparison of the details show. These are two stories about ‘daughters’ in which the number ‘twelve’ features particularly and together they illustrate the extremity and desperation of human need and Christ’s ability to meet that need.
The story of Jarius’ daughter which frames the healing of the unnamed woman has, as a preacher of a bygone era wrote, a background of sunshine with a foreground of darkness. She was twelve years old and now dying of some illness. Regarding the woman with ‘the flow of blood’, it’s a background of darkness and a foreground of sunshine. Who could doubt the joy Jarius’ daughter brought to his home for twelve years? Yet, now at the threshold of maturing and developing toward womanhood, she lies dying. And, who could doubt the burden of this woman who for twelve years was afflicted by a disease for which there seemed to be no cure? In the case of Jarius’ daughter, Jesus came to her in all her helplessness while the woman with the flow of blood came to Him in all her need.
This illustrates the gospel. The Lord Jesus came to us to reach us in all our helplessness and now He calls us to come to Him in all our need. He is, and His power in salvation is sufficient for every need, for every person, for every age.
But I will focus particularly on the story of the woman. Think about three things, Her Condition, Her Faith & Her Healing.
1. Her Condition v 43 This woman had something causing her to constantly hemorrhage. Anyone interested can look up Leviticus chapter 15 vs 19-27 for detail about such a condition in relation to the law. It is however important to understand that it was a hygiene issue about ceremonial purity. It was not a moral issue neither was it the woman’s fault that she was ill. Still, it meant for her a life of exclusion from Jewish worship and social interaction. Her loneliness and sadness would have been real and if it was the case, as some suggest, that within the first century world of Judaism her condition was considered to be caused by her own immorality, then not only would she have been excluded from normal life she would also have been ostracized by her family and society. But think of her and her condition this way.
→She Lived with it Day and daily it was with her and the burden it placed upon her.
↘It was Personal Behind every face you see, beyond every front door everyone has their story. You don’t know what someone deals with every day or what they have faced and experienced in their life. You don’t know their pain, hurt or burden. Perhaps there is someone reading this or listening to it who has known the bitterness and hurt of life and bears the scars of the past whatever the cause. I don’t know your circumstances or pain, but I’m confident that there is one who does, the Lord Jesus Christ. No, He’s not here in the world performing miracles as He did for the short years of His ministry, but He certainly is still healing broken hearts and saving lost souls. He can give peace and rest to the troubled and assurance to the fearful. He forgives sinners and by His grace imparts spiritual wholeness to the needy. So this lady knew and lived with the consequences of her condition. She experienced >Distance from others >Discomfort in body >Distress of mind
But not only was her problem personal,
↘It was Persistent And so
→She Sought a Cure for it Here in Luke chapter 8 v 43 we read: ‘Who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any’ and then in Mark chapter 5 v 26 we’re told that she ‘had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse’ (KJV). So we sense ↘Her Desperation ↘Her Disappointment
Now while there are many lessons we can learn from the above, I want to remind you that the stories of sickness and demon possession which Christ encountered continuously in His ministry all tell us that He came to a fallen, broken world of death and evil. In that regard it hasn’t changed. This was not the world He originally created and made, but one suffering the catastrophic consequences of sin, which not only affects man spiritually and morally, but also physically. A world marked by sickness and death is not the world God wants and the ministry of Jesus proves this. His ministry revealed the power, grace and blessing of the Kingdom of God revealed in His person. He made people whole physically and spiritually and what He did was a foretaste of the day when He will return to earth and establish the kingdom of God to the blessing of all Creation. In this present time He is calling men and women by the gospel to get ready for the kingdom. He calls us to a new and spiritual birth now to enter the kingdom (John 3:3) ready for the day it will be revealed physically in this world when He comes to reign. God is calling us to spiritual wholeness through the forgiveness of our sins which sets us free from the burden of our guilt and brings us into true relationship with Himself.
The Lord Jesus came into this world to deal with, and die for our sins on the Cross. He did so by bearing in His own body the judgment we deserve and our sins merit. He died and rose again from the dead to assure us of the power and blessing of His ‘finished’ work. He promises eternal life to all who believe in Him and in His glorious resurrection He demonstrated that one day when He comes to reign He will heal this groaning Creation and set it free from the ‘bondage of corruption’ into the glorious liberty of ‘children of God’ (Isa 11:1-9; Rom 8:18-23).
Everything about us, in us and around us tells us that we need a Saviour, an Almighty Saviour who is sufficient to meet our need. Jesus Christ is that Saviour. Apart from Him there is no salvation and outside of Him there is no hope. If we are not in His kingdom we will suffer in the fate of the opposing kingdom of darkness that dominates men and nations today. We will, like all that oppose God and His Christ, be finally expelled to the outer and eternal darkness of judgment (Matt 22:13).
2. Her Faith v 44
There were three simple steps to her faith:
→She Heard of Jesus Healing We read at Mark chapter 5 vs 27-28: ‘When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well”’.
→She Came to Jesus Believing
→She Touched Jesus Expecting In accordance with the law of the LORD, Jews were ‘to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a blue thread in the tassels of the corners’ in order to remind them of ‘all the commandments of the Lord’ so that they would remember them and obey them (Num 15:38-39). These ‘tassels’ with their thread of blue were located, it seems, on the four corners of an outer upper mantle like garment worn on top of clothing with two corners probably hanging down the back. The Lord Jesus evidently wore such a garment. The woman ‘came from behind and touched the border of His garment’. She touched the tassel of His garment which was likely an extension of intertwined thread. She touched what was the most accessible and least intrusive and what represented a testimony to the law which Jesus faithfully kept, but which excluded her from normal Jewish life. There was no power in the ‘tassel’ the power was in Jesus who wore this garment! He healed her not the garment.
3. Her Healing vs 44-48
→The Power of Christ Healed her vs 44-46
↘He Healed her – Immediately v44 There was no delay and she knew right away that she was healed. You can readily sense her emotions and excitement in that moment of realization, “I’m healed!”
The Devil tried to tempt Jesus to turn a stone into bread (Luke 4:3). Jesus most certainly didn’t. Moreover, He never performed that type of miracle or any miracles for the sake of Himself or for show. There was no ‘magic’; what He did was for the blessing of others. Also, His miracles of healing were not contravening nature or nature’s laws, He was restoring people to natural wholeness and health. It is viruses and infections and other diseases that corrupt nature and work against natural wholeness and bring destruction and even death. Jesus brought healing. His miracles were testimony to His identity as the Son of God. Yes He did what was humanly impossible. He reversed disease and restored health. Isn’t that what medicine seeks to do today?
He is not in the world today performing miracles, but He is saving souls. I have no doubt Christ has still the power to heal, but claiming and pretending to be channels of that power today is deception and a misunderstanding of the time and context of the ministry of Christ and His apostles. The gospel, as already stressed, is about the salvation of my soul and the forgiveness of my sins. When Christ saves a soul today He does so immediately and forever.
↘He Sought for her – Openly vs 45-46 “Who touched Me?” (Lk 8:45). Multitudes crowded around the Lord and crushed against Him. Many were touching Him, but this was different for power went out from Him. Involuntary? No, but in response to faith. The key thing Christ looked for then and now is faith in Him. It is faith which makes the connection between us and Him and brings the blessing and assurance of His promise. It is faith in Christ that saves. People talk about their faith and occasionally at a funeral service I’ve heard by way of tribute that the person deceased had great faith, but faith in who and what? It’s the focus and object of our faith that matters.
Peter and the disciples responded: “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” (Luke 8:45). In our language, they were saying, “Are you serious?”
The Lord, I have no doubt, knew who touched Him, but He wanted her to know that He knew and in bringing her out into the open He wanted to hear her testimony from her own lips for the benefit of others and so He could assure her of the reality of her healing and send her away in peace. And so we think that
→The Word of Christ Assured Her vs 47-48
↘Her Testimony She came forward ‘trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately’ (Luke 8:47).
↘His Assurance “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48). This was the assurance of His word to her. He reminded her of three immense things,
>She had a New Relationship He called her “Daughter” (Luke 8:42). The only time He ever did so! She would have been in terms of age probably older than Jesus. What He was telling her is that she was spiritually a daughter in God’s family and a true daughter of Abraham by faith. Perhaps alone in the world to this point, she now knew the Saviour and had a Father in heaven. Also,
>She was Made Perfectly Whole Or completely saved. Physically whole and spiritually whole because of her faith in Christ and
>She could Leave with True Peace The dear soul came trembling when she realized she couldn’t hide. We can sense the relief, the joy, the thankfulness that she must have felt in those transforming moments and not a penny did Jesus ask for unlike the many physicians she had visited over the years! She had nothing to give for she ‘had spent all her living upon physicians’, but now having experienced the power of the Great Physician He, as He always does, gave her what she needed and longed for, freely.
Eternal life, salvation is His free gift! Yet how few want it. We certainly all need it and without it will perish in our sins separated from God forever.
Christ gave her and sent her away in peace. Have you peace in your heart and mind today? Or do you carry a burden of guilt and a consciousness of sin? Today we are told to be whatever we want to be and do whatever we want to do without shame or guilt. Unfortunately that’s not the way it works. We are moral beings with an intuitive sense of right and wrong. Things come back to haunt us and our conscience can so trouble us. What the gospel teaches is that we don’t deny our guilt, we confess we have sinned to God and in so doing find His forgiveness and the peace He gives by His grace (Eph 1:7). We bring our need to the Lord Jesus and believing in Him we will “go in peace”.
The whole incident with the woman delayed His coming to Jarius’ daughter, but delays with Christ are never denials and He never loses control even when things become humanly impossible, but that story we leave for another time. AJC