Relentless Faith

Mark 5:24-34:
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'" But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."

This precious woman had suffered twelve years with her affliction. It is important that we remember what society was like in this time period so that we can understand exactly what she faced in her condition. Because she was bleeding, she was considered to be ceremonially unclean. This meant that for twelve years she was forbidden to enter the women's section of the temple. Speaking in terms of modern day relevancy, she wasn't allowed in church! If and when she went in public, she had to announce that she was unclean so that people would know not to touch her. If they were to touch her, then they too would have became ceremonially unclean. Basically, this woman had been cut off from society and physically separated from God (the temple). Her separation was not a result of God's actions but a result of man's law.

Mark goes on to tell us that she had spent all of her money on doctors. Instead of getting better she grew worse. This is very relevant to what goes on today, is it not? We want to go to the doctor for everything. We want a medical diagnosis for every little problem we face. What is the solution when we go? It's usually a pill prescription of some sort. The pills are supposed to be the "miracle" cure for the ailment. Instead of getting better, we get worse. It's usually some sort of side affect, that all of these medicines have, give us bigger problems than the one we were seen for originally.

Then she hears about Jesus. Someone tells her about how Jesus has healed people. They probably tell her that if she can find a way to get him to touch her, she will be healed. Remember, this woman is ceremonially unclean. She knows, by standards of her time, there is no way she will get this prophet of God to touch her. So she thinks to herself that if she can just get close enough to touch the edge of his robe, just a fringe of his garment, she will be healed. Her faith had been ignited by what she had heard about Jesus. This is a powerful message we carry. When we share what Jesus has done for people, it ignites a person's faith and provokes them to take the next step and find out for themselves. That's why it so very important to preach and teach Jesus.

In order to get close enough to touch Jesus' garment, the woman had to make her way through the crowd. Isn't that how it is for us today? When we decide that we need to get close to Jesus, we start finding ourselves having to push and shove our way through some tough times. We have to press through the crowd of sin, brokenness, and doubt as we make our way toward Jesus. The crowd that we are having to make our way through is pushing and shoving against us, trying to set us back and keep us from reaching our hour of healing. It was the same for this woman. Do you think the crowd just split, stepped to the side, and made way in order for her to pass right on through? No. They were pushing and shoving against her. Her faith is what kept her pressing on. That's what should keep us pressing on too, our faith; faith that, when we get there, we know there is healing on the other side. A miracle, waiting for us to claim. When she finally pushed her way through the crowd, she reached out to Jesus, touched his garment, and was immediately healed.

Jesus, realizing that healing power had left him asked, "Who touched me?" You see, no one can reach Jesus without being changed. He knew someone had just received a miracle. Why did he ask who touched him? Anyone with kind of miraculous power could surely discern who touched him. In other places in the gospels, it tells of Jesus knowing what people were thinking as they were thinking it. Well, he wanted to see if she would acknowledge him. When God heals us, he wants all the glory. He doesn't want us to give credit where credit isn't due. We are very quick to ask for healing but we hardly ever give him the full credit and glory when he does it.

The woman fell at Jesus' feet and was trembling with fear. Why was she fearful of the man that just healed her? We have to remember what the word fear means as it relates to fearing God. A definition of fear is reverential awe. That is what is going on here with the woman. She was completely and utterly amazed by what had just happened. She has just been healed of a twelve year affliction. But that isn't the only healing she received. The word used here for heal in the original Greek is sozo. Its meaning describes both physical and spiritual healing. She received both simultaneously; she wasn't sure what just hit her!

Then Jesus says, "Daughter, your faith has healed you." Because of the spiritual healing, in which she received because of her faith in the physical healing, she is now a child of God. Jesus recognizes that by calling her daughter.

We can take away 3 principles or lessons from this story:
  1. The importance of spreading the news of Jesus and what he has done and will do- his story ignites faith in people to chase after him and see for themselves.
  2. We have to act first when we want something from God. We have to step out in faith. When it gets tough, we have to keep pushing through until we reach Jesus.
  3. Spiritual healing is first and foremost before physical healing. Once we accept spiritual healing by faith, we are grafted into the family of God and we become sons of God. What good is physical health if your spiritual health is failing?
God has given a measure of faith to every man and every woman. It's up to us to work it. The bible says, "Faith without works is dead." We have to believe to receive. I pray that God will increase your faith. If you do not have faith in Jesus or do not have a relationship with him at all, please, click on the Salvation tab and meet him today. We love you all!! God bless you!!


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