Jesus and the Woman with Internal Bleeding

25And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26She 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. 27When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28because she thought, If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5:25-34).

The woman we read about above had internal bleeding for 12 years. She had tried everything the doctors had said to her but nothing healed her. In her desperation, she conceived a plan. Faith rose up in her to believe that if she could get close enough to Jesus and touch the hem of His cloak, she would be healed. The God of heaven inspired her to reach out and stop the Son of God for her need. She made a faith statement inside her heart to the Lord.

God responds to faith in Him. When a thought that may be inspired faith comes to you, do you shut it down as ridiculous or do you go with it? We are told in verse 31 that the crowds were pressing against Christ, how is it that some can crowd the Lord while others can go beyond the crowd to touch him for their needs? What do you think is the secret of those that get their prayers and needs met? Expectation or faith are key words in approaching God, but also determination, not allowing anything to put you off from getting your need met by the King of Glory.

This principle of determination is what the woman has. No matter how big the crowd was, no matter how hard it was to push through; she would reach out and touch the Lord. There was danger that went along with this plan, though. There were strict laws laid down in Leviticus 15:19-33, that separated any woman with internal bleeding from other healthy people. Any person with a sickness like hers had to be separated from the community and kept at distance. Anything or anyone she touched would make them unclean. If she were found out, people would be really angry, and she could be stoned.

Imagine the pain that this woman lived with daily. There was the physical pain of her condition, but also the constant emotional pain from living a life of segregation similar to that of a leper, one who was viewed as unclean by the rest of society. Everything she touched was viewed as contaminated! How scared she must have been as she was mingling with the crowd trying to get to Jesus. He was her only hope and He did not let her down. She was desperate and alone as she stretched forth and connected her fingers to the cloak of Jesus. As soon as she touched His garment she was healed instantly.

The Lord felt power leave His body as the woman touched Him. Even though the crowd was pressing against Him, He knew that someone had gone beyond the crowd with a touch of faith. Why would Jesus stop and ask who touched Him? It might have been that He wanted the Father to get the glory for what was done. It also might have been that He was concerned for the woman that the healing is open before all the community, in order for her to reenter society and no longer be separated from her friends. He wanted her to be able to go into the house of God and worship with all the rest of the congregation.

Why was she trembling at His question? She took a huge risk. Jesus was well known as a Rabbi in whom is the Spirit of God. She might have thought that she would contaminate him with her uncleanness and render Him unable to carry on His ministry.  I am sure that she expected to be severely told off, but instead, how kind was His response. There was no anger from Him, just encouragement to her for stretching out her faith to touch Him. How about you? Isn’t it time you stretched out your faith to the Lord Jesus? Keith Thomas

Walking by Faith and Not by Sight

We are continuing our meditation on Jesus and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. When the turn off the road to Emmaus came, Jesus said goodbye to them, but they would not have it. They invited Christ to eat with them, and He did. He continued to share the Scriptures with them around a table. What a model the Lord Jesus is to each of us. After His resurrection, He took time to be with the ones and twos, teaching them the Scriptures and building them up in the faith. As the two disciples sat around the table waiting for bread to be brought, I’m sure they were convinced that this stranger must be a Rabbi to know the Scriptures and expound on them like Jesus did, but they were still not aware that it was Christ.

Usually, the host will break the bread and bless the food before his guest, but in this instance, Jesus is invited to bless and break the bread, praying over the food. As the unleavened bread is broken, the blessing is pronounced, “Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the world, Who has caused bread to come forth out of the earth.” At the blessing of the bread, their eyes were opened, and they recognized that it was Jesus. As their chins hit the floor and they mouth the word “Jesus!” He disappeared before their very eyes! Why would the Lord disappear upon their recognition of Him?

We are to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). His disciples had been relying on His visible presence, some of them for three years, but now it is time to begin to lean on His invisible presence. Later on, when the news was shared that the Lord had risen, the disciple Thomas was trusting in only what he could see and experience through his senses. The disciples were entering into a new relationship with Jesus, one that would require them to walk by faith, not by sight. Thomas wanted to see and feel before he would believe that Christ had, indeed, risen. When the Lord appeared in the room and invited Thomas to feel the nail marks in His hands, Thomas no longer needed to feel the nail prints or the spear hole, and he fell to his knees, saying, “My Lord and my God!”

To Thomas’ credit, once he saw Jesus, he did not hold back but immediately worshiped Him. Unlike Thomas, not all believers will have evidence given to their senses. There are those who will not take a step of faith because they are waiting for a supernatural sign or a prophetic word from the Lord. The Lord may on occasion give a person confirmation in an unusual way, but we should step out in faith on the objective Word of God and the inner confirmation and peace of the Spirit inside us. We must live by faith and not by sight. Jesus said to Thomas, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29). If you are a believer, Jesus was speaking about you!

In the fictional C.S. Lewis book, Screwtape Letters, a training session is going on between a seasoned senior demon and a young demon. The young demon is in need of advice on his first assignment trying to disrupt and destroy the faith of a new Christian. C.S. Lewis offers interesting insight as to a Christian learning to walk by faith and not by sight:

He [God] wants them to learn to walk and must therefore take away His hand, and if only the will to walk is really there, He is pleased even with the stumbles. Do not be deceived, Wormwood. Our cause is never more in danger than when a human, no longer desiring, but still intending, to do our enemy’s will, looks around upon a universe from which every trace of Him seems to have vanished, and asks why he has been forsaken, and still obeys.[1]

Those who have not perceived by the five senses but still have believed express the kind of faith for which God is looking. What about you? Will you believe that you are special to God and that the Messiah, Jesus, would come alongside you this day and lift your heart to behold Him? Perhaps, you would like to prepare bread and even a glass of juice and ask Him to come close and reveal Himself to you as you break bread. Give Him the weight of your troubles. Ask Him to forgive you of your sins and refresh your life with His presence.

Taken from the series on the Gospel of Luke, found in the middle column near to the top. Click on study 65 at this linkJesus on the Emmaus Road (Luke 24:13-35). Keith Thomas.

[1] C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters (New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Co., 1959), page 47.