Luke 8, Matthew 9, & Mark 5 tell the story of Jesus…probably an exhausted Jesus from ministering so much…crossing the sea of Galilee with his group of “Oh no! We are going to sink and drown” disciples and landing on the other side of the lake and immediately being swamped by a crowd looking to Jesus to help them, heal them, care for them.
Jesus jumps right into ministry again. Just that is enough to stop me in my tracks. I would have been like…”Um…can I have 5 minutes?! Perhaps a cup of coffee?? Some ‘me time?’ Jesus is selfless. Not only that, a ruler of the synagogue rushes him and announces that his daughter is sick and near death…Mark 5:23 says that he “implored him earnestly.”
On the way, Jesus is mobbed. He is fighting his way thru the crowd. There is a woman who is just about hopeless, she is in a really tough spot – she has a disease that has gone uncured for 12 years. TWELVE YEARS. Not only that the text says that she spent all her money trying to get well, so she is broke and sick with a debilitating illness. NOT ONLY THAT, the disease involves uncontrolled bleeding, thus according the Jewish law, renders her unclean – and not able to go to temple, nor even be in public without declaring herself “unclean.” She is hopeless. Until she sees Jesus has come to her town.
Her faith is so great that she fights her way thru the crowd to just touch his clothes. She doesn’t want to bother him, doesn’t want to be personally healed, she believes if she just touches him, she will be healed.
She manages to touch his clothes and he feels it. She is healed, she feels it, she knows it deep in her soul. It worked. However there is a snag – everything stops. Jesus asks “who touched me?” (Side note : the disciples respond with a hilarious comeback – “You are in a huge crowd and you are asking who touched you? Um…like probably a hundred people are touching you?!” I love the Bible, I really do.)
Can you imagine the terror this woman must have felt. She has been found out – Jesus is on to her. Mark 6:33 says that she immediately “came in with fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.”
Contrast this awe and fear with the disciples in their boat ride on the way over. This woman believes in her heart that just by touching his clothes, Jesus can heal her 12 year disease that has left her broke, socially and ceremonially outcast, and her life in shambles. The disciples are terrified of wind and rain, and run to Jesus so scared for their very lives they seem to forget that he is in control of all things. Do you see that?
Jesus responds to the woman “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Daughter – she is now a new person in Christ – no longer a social outcast and unclean – she has been cleaned by Jesus. She is a new person. Adopted.
Your faith has made you well – Which are we like when we run to Jesus? Like the disciples? Focused on fear and our situation and ourselves? Or like the woman? Focused on Jesus with a confident hope that he can heal us and is sovereign over all things.
BTW – by the time that Jesus finishes with this woman, the man’s daughter dies. A messenger from his house runs up an says “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (Mark 5:35)
Can you imagine the terror and despair of this man upon hearing this news?
Jesus response ? “Do not fear. Only believe.”
PS: Driscoll is preaching his way thru Luke. Great stuff. I love his sermon on this. Click here to check it out.