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Moments With The Master Series
A TOUCHING MOMENT
Intro: Mark chapter 5 is brimming with impossible cases. It has been called the Bible home for incurables. There are three cases given in this chapter which are absolutely, humanly speaking, hopeless and impossible. There was the Demonic Man, there was this Diseased Woman, and then there was the Dead Girl. All three of these cases were considered impossible in the Lord's day and they still are in our own day as well.
For instance, the Demoniac would be assigned to a mental institution, this poor woman would be assigned to a terminal care unit, and the girl, of course, would be carried somewhere and placed for burial in a cemetery.
But as you move through the events in this fifth chapter of Mark you discover that Jesus is more than adequate for every situation, there are no incurables with Him. In every circumstance mentioned, we see that Jesus was more than enough: to the man who was demonized, Jesus became the Great Psychiatrist; to the woman who was diseased, Jesus was the Great Physician; and to the girl who was dead, Jesus was the Great Pediatrician.
Today, I want to consider the account of the healing of the diseased woman. This portion of Scripture is kind of like a parenthesis in the action. Jesus is on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus and He is interrupted as He goes by this woman who comes and touches the hem of His garment.
In one sense, every miracle of Jesus was parenthetical, that is, they took place as He moved toward His greatest work: the cross. Jesus came into this world and made His way to the cross and as He went through this world the cross was always before Him. But along the way there were people who were hurting, along the way there were people who had needs and so Jesus stopped along the way to Calvary to help people who had human needs.
As Jesus was journeying this day, He was thronged by a crowd, the people were pressing all around Him, but in that crowd there was a weak, timid, dying woman who reached out and touched Jesus Christ, when she did, her life was transformed. There are those in this church today who need to reach out and touch Jesus! You need a transformation in your life and you can have it, if you will only touch Him! Let’s take a few minutes to look into this passage and talk about A Touching Moment. If you need to touch Jesus, He is passing by here today. Listen and learn how to touch Him!
I. V. 24-26 THE HORROR SHE ENDURED
A. V. 25 Her Symptoms - We are told that she suffered from “an issue of blood”. This literally means that she was hemorrhaging, or bleeding, from some part of her body. The word “issue” means “a flowing of blood”. Whatever may have caused this internal hemorrhage, she was a very sick woman.
B. V. 26 Her Sufferings - A constant flow of blood, such as this, would have caused this woman untold suffering. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the areas in which she suffered.
1. She Had Suffered Physically - From the constant blood loss, this poor woman would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale. She would have had no energy at all. The least of efforts would have worn her out. She would have been a weak, pathetic creature! The word “plague” is the same word that is translated “whip” elsewhere. Her disease was like a scourge, constantly beating her down, day by day!
We are also told that she had tried all the remedies of all the physicians of her day. We are told that she “suffered” under their care. She suffered because those doctors weren’t doctors, in the sense that we think of doctors. They were a bunch of quacks, trying out one superstitious remedy after another.
(Ill. “Rabbi Jochanan says: “Take of gum Alexandria, of alum, and of crocus hortensis, the weight of a zuzee each; let them be bruised together, and given in wine to the woman that hath an issue of blood.
But if this fail, “Take of Persian onions nine logs, boil them in wine, and give it to her to drink: and say, Arise from thy flux.
But should this fail, “Set her in a place where two ways meet, and let her hold a cup of wine in her hand; and let somebody come behind and affright her, and say, Arise from thy flux.
But should this do no good, “Take a handful of cummin and a handful of crocus, and a handful of faenu-greek; let these be boiled, and given her to drink, and say, Arise from thy flux.
But should this also fail, “Dig seven trenches, and burn in them some cuttings of vines not yet circumcised (vines not four years old); and let her take in her hand a cup of wine, and let her be led from this trench and set down over that, and let her be removed from that, and set down over another: and in each removal say unto her, Arise from thy flux.”) It is hard for us to imagine the kinds of indignities those doctors put her through.
2. She Had Suffered Socially - She could not be married, because, through physical contact, she would defile her husband. If she had ever been married, her husband would have been forced to divorce her. She could not work around others because of the danger of defilement. This reduced her to a life of begging scraps of food from a distance. Her condition left her on the fringes of society.
3. She Had Suffered Emotionally - Since the Bible says that she had been this way for 12 years, and considering the average life span in those days, it is safe to assume that she has probably been this way since just after puberty. She has lived her life moving from one rejection to another. She is lonely, isolated and desperate!
4. She Had Suffered Religiously - Under the Law, Lev. 15:19; 25-27, this woman was to be considered unclean. Anything or anyone that she touched was also considered unclean. As a result, she could not mingle with people in public, lest she cause them to be defiled. She could not go to the Women’s Court of the Temple, because she was unclean.
5. She Had Suffered Financially - The Bible tells us that she had “spent all she had”. The quack doctors and their useless remedies had not helped her. All they had done was drain her bank account dry. She has been left penniless and destitute.
C. V. 26 Her Sorrow - After all the years, all the doctors, all the times she had hoped this remedy would be the one that would work for her, she has come to the place where she knows she is living under a death sentence. She will not get better, but she will die from this disease. What she has will kill her. Her life is literally draining out of her body little by little, day by day, Lev. 19:11. I have no doubt she has just about given up!
(Note: I wonder how many people can identify with this poor woman today? Maybe you don’t have her illness, but like her, you are filled with suffering and sorrow today. Well, she does picture two types of people today:
1. This woman paints a clear picture of every person who does not know Jesus Christ as Savior. You see, the lost are also defiled by a blood disease. They inherited this disease from Adam, Rom. 5:12. This is a condition that has plagued the lost person since he or she entered this world, Rom. 3:10; 23; Gal. 3:22. It is a condition made no better despite all the efforts of the sinner. Many lost people spend their youth and even their entire lives searching for meaning and help for their condition, but instead of getting better they only get worse; they only get harder in their hearts and more deeply rooted in their sins. All the efforts at self-improvement and religion will not help your condition!
This poor woman was in a sad shape, but she wasn’t even close to being as bad off as that person who is not saved by grace. She was merely headed to the grave, they are headed to an eternity in Hell, Psa. 9:17; Rom. 6:23!
2. She is a picture of that believer who is laboring under a heavy burden. Many of God’s children are discouraged and defeated today. You have tried everything in your power to get better. You have tried everything you know to handle your problems. You’ve read all the books, listened to all the preachers, and gotten advise from the best of sources, but you are no better. Your life is just as messed up as it ever was. Well, friend, if that is you today, keep on listening, because as we watch this poor woman get the help she needs, we are going to find out about the help we need as well.)
II. V. 27-28 THE HOPE SHE EMBRACED
A. V. 27 The Declaration She Heard - Somewhere, from some source, this poor woman heard about Jesus. Maybe she had heard how He had healed that leper, Mark 1:40-42. Maybe she had heard about that wild man just across the lake that Jesus had helped, Mark 5:1-20. Or, maybe some other poor soul, who lived on the fringes of society due to an uncleanness of some kind had been healed of Jesus and came in and told her about Him. No doubt she had heard that there was power in His touch. But, she didn’t want Him to touch her. She wanted to touch Him. Perhaps she had heard of Jesus from another that had touched His garment and been healed, Luke 6:19!
B. V. 28 The Determination She Held - Regardless of where she heard about Him, she knew she had to get to Him. She had come to realize that Jesus was her only hope! She believed with all her heart that if she could just get to Him, she would be healed. She had to be determined, because she demonstrated great courage by approaching Jesus in that crowd. As she elbowed her way through the people, she was causing ceremonial defilement for everyone she touched. She was taking a great risk, for if she had been recognized, she would have been subjected to public humiliation and ridicule and possible retribution. A crowd like that might have gotten worked up and stoned her to death. For her, it was a risk worth taking. She knew what Jesus would do for her if she could just get to Him!
She had to be determined, because by the very nature of her disease, it would have taken all the energy she had to drag herself out of her bed to struggle through that crowd to get to Jesus. She was desperate!
(Note: Have you reached that place in your life yet? Have you come to understand that Jesus is the only hope you have? Friend, if you are in this building lost today, you need to get to Jesus! He is the only source of salvation for you, Acts 4:12; John 14:6. If you have never trusted Him for salvation, then you need to come to Him. Jesus is your only hope. You need to touch Him by faith!
Others, who are saved, but like this woman are burdened and defeated, need to touch Him as well. The sooner you come to realize that Jesus is the only person Who can help you, the sooner you can get the help you need! Listen what He says to you: Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15-16; 1 Pet. 5:7. Why should you carry that burden one more step? Why should you fight your battle even for one more minute? Why should you live defeated for another day? You don’t have to! Get to Jesus, He can and will help you!)
III. V. 29-34 THE HEALING SHE EXPERIENCED
A. V. 29 It Was Powerful - When she was near enough to Him, she reached out a trembling hand and touched His garment. The word “touched” means “to cling to or to adhere to”. In other words, she held onto Him until she got what she came after! Then, immediately, in that instant, she received what none of the doctors or their costly and painful remedies could give her; she was healed! Instantly, she felt the change in her body. She knew she was a different woman!
B. V. 30-33 It Was Personal - As soon as this woman touches Him, Jesus knows what has happened. Just for the record, He knew about it before it happened! But, He knows that “virtue” has gone out of Him. This is a word that means “power”. We get our modern words “dynamite” and “dynamic” from it. Jesus knows what has happened and He asks the question in verse 30, “Who touched My clothes?” Of course, there were dozens of people touching Him and bumping into Him that day, a fact pointed out by the disciples, v. 31, but her touch was different, it was a touch accompanied by faith. Many touched Him, but only one touched Him with the fingers of faith!
When Jesus spoke to this woman, you will notice that she fell before Him in fear. Here is the very reason she came silently from behind Him to touch Him, instead of coming to Him openly. She was afraid of rejection! She needn’t have feared that! Jesus was not interested in humiliating her. He was not interested in driving her away from His presence. He was not interested in preaching her a sermon on uncleanness from the Law. He was merely interested in helping her with her problem!
But, Jesus got the response from her He had wanted and anticipated. She came before Him, and bowed at His feet and confessed everything to Him. This was a public acknowledgment of what had happened in her heart. She was different and she wasn’t ashamed to tell others about it!
Notice this: Jesus was on His way to heal the young daughter of a man named Jairus, v. 22-24. This little girl is at the point of death! As Jesus makes His way to this man’s house, He is surrounded by the surging crowd. Yet, in spite of the seriousness of His mission, Jesus takes the time to stop for this woman! At this moment, the crowd might as well not even be there. It has come down to just Jesus and this woman. To Him, she and her need, were more important than anything else. She was, for that moment of time, the focus and center of His world and attention! This woman, cast out, uncared for and unwanted had caught the eye of God because she exercised simple, childlike faith!
(Note: Isn’t that a blessing? I believe that God, Who controls the path of every atom in every molecule in this universe, has time for you when you call on Him in faith. Don’t you fear that He doesn’t care. Don’t you fear that He won’t receive you. Do you realize that this woman could have never touched Him had He not become flesh? You see, God became a man, in the first place, so He could die on the cross, Phil. 2:5-8. But, He also became a man so that He could be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, Heb. 4:15-16. He also became flesh so that we could touch Him! No man could touch deity. Ill. Uzzah! Jesus became a man so that He could identify with us and we with Him. He became a man so that we could touch Him! If you ever come to the place where you can summon the faith the get to Him and touch Him, you will get the help you need too!)
C. V. 34 It Was Profound - His words confirmed what she already knew had happened! Notice that He calls her “daughter”. This signifies that fact that they are in a different relationship now. You see, she got more than physical healing that day. All her adult life, she has been an outcast, a nobody, dwelling in isolation and loneliness, but now, she hears that she has been taken in by God! Her faith brought her into a soul saving relationship with Jesus Christ. The word “whole” is the same word translated “saved” throughout the New Testament. It means “to be rescued from all harm and danger. To be kept safe and sound”. Yes, she got a whole lot more than she bargained for that day!
He tells her to “go in peace”. His words let her know that she has done the right thing in coming to Him and touching Him. Any other man in that crowd would have been offended and angered had this diseased woman intentionally touched him, but not Jesus! He was not afraid of ceremonial defilement, it could not touch Him! All He knew was that a woman in trouble had exercised a grain of faith the size of a mustard seed, and He only cared for her healing! You will also notice that Jesus did not ask for money for His services. What He did He did freely out of love and grace!
She had already been healed and she knew it, but these final words of Jesus, “thy faith hath made thee whole”, drive home the fact that she was finally and fully free from her plague. She was healed and life would never be the same ever again! Her battle with this dread disease was forever finished! She had received a brand new life from the hand of the Master.
(Note: “Thy faith hath made thee whole” also drives home the truth that her healing did not come from touching the hem of His garment. It came via the conduit of faith from the very hand of God!)
(Note: Just like this woman, all those who come to Jesus get far more than they ever bargained for. Many come to Him because they are afraid of Hell. They will come to Jesus Christ to get deliverance from the penalty of sin and from the wrath of God, John 3:18; 36. But, when that person exercises faith in Jesus and is saved, they discover they got far more than just a fire insurance policy.
• They discover that they are now children of God, 1 John 3:1-2.
• They discover that they are promised a home in Heaven, John 14:1-3.
• They discover that they are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, Rom. 8:17.
• They discover that the direction and desires of life have all changed, 2 Cor. 5:17.
• They discover that they are free from the power of sin to control and dominate them, Rom. 6:14.
• They discover that they are no longer God’s enemies, Rom. 8:7, but that they have been reconciled to Him, Eph. 2:12-19.
• They discover that all of this took place “by grace through faith”, that it didn’t cost them a dime, Isa. 55:1; Rev. 22:17.
• They soon discover that their efforts to avoid condemnation and hell have forever ended, Col. 2:13-14.
• They soon discover that they have been fully and finally forgiven of every sin and transgression, Psa. 103:12; Isa. 38:`7; Isa. 43:45; Jer. 50:20; Micah 7:19; 1 John 1:7!
The believer has every confirmation from the Word of God and from the circumstances of life to ensure them that they have done the right thing in trusting Jesus for their soul’s salvation.)
(Note: Friend, maybe you are saved, but your life is anything but whole today. Why don’t you come to Jesus and get the help you need? If you will come to Him by faith, He will help you with the trials you are facing today, 1 Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28. If something is missing in your walk with the Lord. Today would be a great time to get things fixed up with Jesus!)
Conc: Do you need to touch Him today? Have you come to understand that whether you are lost in sin, or whether you are battling difficulty, Jesus is your answer? If you have reached the place where all other remedies have failed, all other means have exhausted themselves and you need help right now, I want to invite you to come to Jesus!
You know, in that crowd that day, there were dozens of people with physical, spiritual, and emotional needs. But, only one lady got any help. Dozens touched Jesus, but only one was transformed. Why? Because only one saw Him as her only source! She believed He could help her and she did whatever she had to do to touch Him. When she touched Him, she was made whole! Don’t be one of those people who brush up against Jesus this morning and leave unchanged. If you need help, look to Him, He has the power to change your situation. If you need help, get to Him and touch Him by faith!
Will you come lost friend? Will you come to Him hurting one? Whatever the need, He is a need meeting God. Just do as He would have you do today!