Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 27 February 2015

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.” Mark 5, verses 24-34.

After Jairus corners Jesus we hear the story of the bleeding woman.

She was healed because she believed.   Was she healed because she touched Jesus or was she healed because she believed Jesus could heal her?   The verses says she was healed because she had faith in Jesus. What’s more, I think the last verse is such a profound expression of real love.   “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”   Tell me:   if a politician had the power to heal, do you think he would tell a total stranger “go and be at peace?”   Do you think if the president had that power, he would send someone away?   My bet is that if any human – president or any one of us – had that kind of power we would use it to make sure other folks knew it was all about us.

But not Jesus.   Instead, He heals her, a stranger. He gives her a chance to confront him, and then He goes the extra mile to help her know He loves her.   “Go in peace and be free:”   that isn’t the message of Allah, or a tyrant, or a politician, or John Q. Public.   But it’s the message of Jesus.   It’s what He does.

After the story of Jairus – which isn’t over yet – we are left to find that we are the bleeding woman.   You and me, we might not be bleeding or enduring intense suffering; or maybe we are.   Yet each of us is flawed; we each need some kind of healing.   We desperately need to believe that the Son of Man can and does heal us in ways nobody else can.   We need it because this is the only hope in a hopeless world.   You and I can’t reach up to touch Jesus’ robe, but we can touch Him through His word, by opening up to Him heart to heart, by learning to trust Him to guide us in decisions small and large, and by pursuing His ways of love to govern everything we think and say and do.   When we do that, we find that He soon turns to us and says “your faith as healed you.   Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Lord, only You can heal.   Heal all my diseases.   Heal me because only You are God.

Read Mark 5, verses 21-43.

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