43. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any,
44. Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
45. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
46. And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
47. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
48. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
We mentioned the other night that here are back-to-back four great miracles of Jesus: one great miracle in the realm of nature, stilling the storm; a great miracle in the realm of demonic supernatural power, the deliverance of the man who was demon possessed. Tonight we are going to talk about a great miracle in the realm of the physical when we talk about the healing of a woman with an issue of blood. And then the other miracle is the raising of a young girl of 12 years old from the dead; power and miracles in the realm of disease and death. The story of the woman with the issue of blood is one of my favorite stories to preach and talk about. This woman’s story is so down-to-earth and she is so human, and we can identify with her in her suffering and in her trial, and the idea of the steps that she took in order to receive help from Jesus Christ. Out of the particular lessons that we learned, we ought to find a way to – like this woman – put forth an effort to reach out by faith and touch Jesus for our own particular needs. There are sometimes when God pours forth His Spirit and His love and His grace upon us and we don’t even seem to ask, we don’t even seem to have to believe. It just seems to be spontaneous and it seems like out of the goodness of His heart and His great mercy He just dumps upon us great showers of blessings and love. There are other things that take a little more time and a little bit of effort and the exercising of more faith, and requires that we reach out to Him sometimes even in desperation to receive what we need from Him. So, that’s what we want to talk about tonight; just reaching out with the touch of faith.
I want to underscore some words in your thinking that will serve as an outline for us to follow for this message. I’m going to pick one or two words from Mark’s account of this story, as well. The words that I want to zero in on, especially for all you teachers, and especially that honored group who teach English, I’m going to choose special verbs; action words that happen to this woman part of her life as she took steps to receive help from God. That will form the outline that I want to talk about tonight.
This story is so very realistic. It is so human. We look upon it and upon this woman in a very special way and we can understand a little bit about her suffering and what she was going through with. The Bible says that she had been sick for twelve long years with an issue, a flow of blood that could not be stopped. So she suffered physical pain. She was drawn over, giving in somewhat to the pain that she bore in her body. She suffered emotionally, as well, and psychologically because in the situation then, the Jewish environment where she lived, she was considered unclean and she could not come into an assembly like this tonight. She couldn’t come into a group of people. She had to keep her distance as a person who was considered unclean. This might not have been so bad if it had been a few months, but twelve long years being separated from everybody had caused her a great amount of internal suffering and turmoil and it was hard for her to handle. Loneliness bore down upon her day after day. I don’t know if you have really suffered loneliness, but I think that is one of the greatest pains that anyone can ever suffer is to be separated and not being able to go about a natural, normal routine of life, associating with friends and loved ones and going out in public places, always having to keep your distance, to stay alone.
But, one day she heard about Jesus. That’s the first word I want you to underline – she heard. We don’t know who it was, but she had some special friend. It could have been her sister. It could have been some lady neighbor who loved her. But she had a friend who did not mind going to her little house and visiting with her and spending some time with her. Whoever it was, she went to see her. Evidently, she went to see her often. Probably when she went, she was almost like her eyes seeing for the woman and a life of emotion that felt for the woman. She came and reported because she had been going to hear Jesus. She had been going to see Jesus and she evidently came and told this woman, her friend, about Jesus. She told her about what He taught, what He said, no doubt. She may have said, “I heard Him speak and I heard Him teach this or that. I saw Him with my own eyes as He healed people. I saw Him heal people who are as bad off as you are, some maybe worse. I have seen Him in control of evil forces.” And we don’t know what all, but she just kept on telling the woman about Jesus. In my estimation, there is no greater preaching in all the world than for a person out of love to go to somebody who is hurting and lonely and keep telling them about the love of Jesus Christ. I know we preachers sometimes like to think about great sermons and we are thrilled when people say they enjoy our message and all that. But as far as the Lord is concerned, I think the greatest preaching of all is when anybody shares with someone who is needing help and they keep telling them about Jesus and what He has said, what He has done, what he can do, and they keep sowing the seed of love in the hearts of people so that it grows faith. It produces faith. That is exactly what happened to this woman. Hearing about Jesus, there came a day when she got the courage to make one last effort to get some help because she had spent every dime she owned. She had gone to physicians. She had an incurable kind of disease. Nobody could help her. The Bible says “But rather she grew worse,” Mark said.
I guess by this time she is absolutely desperate and so she came with this one last effort, using all her strength. She came. That’s the word I want you to underline...She came. The fact is that one day she made a decision and she said, “This is the day I’m going,” and the Bible says she came to Jesus. Now that lets me know that there are some things that we face in our lives and problems that we have that one day we have to make a decision about and say ‘This is the day that I’m going to get up on my feet and though I don’t have much energy and though I don’t have much faith, yet this is the day that I go to do something about what is my trouble.’ Amen!
I want to tell you, God honors that. When you make up your mind and you make a decision and even though you may not have much faith at the time, when you start to put one foot ahead of the other one in the direction of the Lord Jesus Christ, He honors it. Praise God! He honors it. So there was a day when she came to Jesus. The only problem was He was not on the hillside teaching as usual. When she caught up with the crowd, they were moving. It turned out to be the wrong day. The first thing she saw with Jesus was this well dressed religious man who was the ruler of the synagogue, Jairus, and Jesus was on His way to his house to see something about his daughter who was at the point of death and indeed would die. I suppose the woman’s heart sank because she thought perhaps in her heart “I can’t go up and see Him. I can’t cry out to Jesus. I must not make a scene. If Jairus sees me, he is the person who tells me I’m unclean and I can’t attend the synagogue or I can’t go. He is the one who rules. And he stands between me and Jesus Christ.” It would be a tremendous thing if we understood the people who have allowed personalities to stand between them and the blessings of the Lord. There is seldom anything else, but so many people have been hindered because of personalities who seem to stand between them and the Lord.
Mark adds a word here that I want to add here: another one of those verbs, She said. Some people don’t believe much in positive confession and I know that there are some who seem to be ridiculous. But here is a case that absolutely the Bible presents in a beautiful manner that brings about understanding of what kind of positive confession based on faith that really works in your own heart. She said, “If I can just touch His clothes, I’m not going to touch Him. I’m not going to make a scene. I’m not going to cry out. I’m just going to slip right in from behind and if I can just touch His clothes, I will be healed.” Hallelujah!
Now, I don’t pretend to understand that kind of faith. She is way ahead of me as far as understanding real faith that reaches out with a touch of Jesus Christ. But at the same time, there is fear and there is worry and anxiety working in her heart because she intends to stay hid as we read earlier. She does not have to have the center of attention. She does not want to be brought out into the open. So she slips in from behind and says “If I can just touch His clothes, the border of His garment, I will be made whole.”
That’s exactly what she did. That’s the next word: She touched. She worked her way through the great press of people and with her last ounce of energy seemed to reach forward through the crowd and touched the border of His garment. Mark says immediately felt in her body that she was healed! I like that! Oh, hallelujah! I love healing that you feel right away. You don’t have to go on your way and have somebody say “Now just keep saying it and after a while it will come.” I like healing that you can feel.
I liked it back in 1963 when I had had gall bladder attacks for several years. The doctors x-rayed and said I had gallstones and must have surgery. It scared me to death. I went out to my church one Wednesday night and I called the good saints around. I sat down on the altar and I said, “I’ve prayed for you. It’s your time now to pray for me,” and I sat down on the altar. I said, “Somebody get oil and anoint me.” That night as I sat on the altar on a Wednesday night, some of the greatest things in the world happen on Wednesday night at the church, somebody anointed me with oil and somebody laid hands on me at the old West Frankfurt Church of God in southern Illinois and God came down and it was like warm oil flowed down over me. How many of you have ever been healed by the power of God? You know what I’m talking about! Raise your hand as a testimony and as a praise to God. Amen. I got drunk in the Spirit. I felt so light. I felt like my toes were just barely touching the floor and that was in 1963. I never had to have the surgery. I’ve never had a gall bladder attack since. I lived for several years worried to death about if I eat this or if I eat that, worrying about that, but ever since then I’ve never had to worry about what I ate. It’s a marvelous thing to be healed of gall bladder trouble and not worry at all whether anything is going to agree with you or disagree with you and just go right on. That’s a marvelous thing! I never had the surgery and God performed a healing miracle. Someone asked what happened to the gall stones. I don’t know. Nobody has ever looked to see. All I know is I’ve never had that pain again and thank God for it.
I like healing that you can feel, that you know that God has touched you and you are aware of the divine presence and you have the witness within. The woman felt in her body that she was healed. My father came home from World War I dying of tuberculosis where he had been gassed in some kind of experiment with poison gas and it developed tuberculosis and 100% disability. They gave him a pension and sent him home to die. God began to talk to him. His family was not Pentecostal at all. He had married a woman, my mother, who was Pentecostal and her family was. God was talking to him about preaching the gospel and he argued and said, “But I can’t. I’m dying. I don’t know how to do that.” He had only gone to the third grade in school. The only thing I’ve ever seen that he wrote was when he scrawled his signature – G. N. May – and you just barely could make it out that it was G. N. May. There on a little screened-in porch separated from the rest of us, he lay night after night. Sometimes my mother would go in in the morning and find his hair and face matted to his pillow in his own blood where he had hemorrhaged even in his sleep. Finally, he told God, “You’ll have to perform a miracle and raise me up because I am dying. If you do, I’ll try it.” And God healed him! Oh hallelujah! He used to tell it like this. “God gave me a new pair of leather lungs and I’m going to wear them out for Him.” And he became one of those screaming, hollering, running, stomping, kicking preachers! I’ve never had half the energy that he had preaching! You couldn’t go to sleep where he preached! He would kick the pew out from under you if you did! (laughter) A lot of folks, hundreds of people are in heaven now already because of him. A lot of preachers are preaching the gospel now because of him. Oh, I love healing that comes to you and saves your life and somehow turns the supernatural anointing of God on in your own heart and life. Amen!
She felt it! She was healed. But she wasn’t the only one who felt it. Jesus felt the healing virtue flow out of Him. That’s what the touch of faith does. Faith is just like turning a switch. When you come to Christ with faith, it pulls that supernatural lever that releases the power of God that flows right out from His life. Oh, hallelujah! My God, I feel His presence tonight. Thank you, God, for healing mercies tonight! Hallelujah! Oh, hallelujah! Thank you, Lord.
And Jesus stopped and said, “Who touched my clothes?” Everybody denied it. And then He said, “Who touched me? Somebody touched me.” They said, “Well, Lord, you see this whole bunch in here? Anybody could have bumped up against you and touched you.” But I’m glad that Jesus Christ knows the difference between elbows that just kind of bump around in a crowd and fingers of faith that reach out to touch Him. Some people, that’s the way they live. They just bump around in the crowd. The sit right beside a miracle sometime and never know it. But people who reach out by faith and touch the Lord Jesus Christ, they know what’s going on and they know where the flow of the Spirit and power of the Almighty really is. Hallelujah! Oh, praise His glorious name!
So Jesus looked around to see who it was. Here’s the woman. She is trying to stay hid. She does not want to create a scene. She possibly fears what He may say. She possibly fears Jairus. No telling what. But when she saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, fearing and trembling Mark said, and fell down before His feet and told Him all the truth and told Him, “I’m the one.” She told Him why. I know Jesus already knew all about her. She didn’t have to tell Him for His sake. There are a lot of people who are shut away from God’s best because they won’t open up and tell all to Jesus. He already knows, but that doesn’t heal you. That doesn’t bring blessing to you. But the confession, the opening up of your life does. There’s where the therapy comes. There’s where the cleansing and healing come. A lot of people are going around with a lot of things closed in their hearts. It’s just keeping them from enjoying God’s best. Sometimes it’s some old grudge. Sometimes it’s hurt feelings. But any of those old things can just block the flow of God’s love and grace into your heart and life. Like this woman they need to tell all to Him. It’s not necessary that you tell everybody else. Some things you don’t even have to counsel with the pastor. But you need to tell Him everything. Because He already knows, but the opening up of your life and letting His gaze come down into your heart willingly is the thing that will bring you great peace and deliverance.
So Jesus spoke to the woman. He spoke some of the most beautiful words that you could ever hear. In the first place, He didn’t say to her, “Woman.” He said that to a few people. But He called her “Daughter.” Do you know what that means? It means that she is in. She is not outside anymore. She is not separated anymore. She is not pushed away at a distance anymore. She is in. She’s in the family. She’s been brought in. She belongs. She’s accepted. What a glorious experience to be accepted in the family of God! I’ve known of people that the Lord accepted that other people wouldn’t accept. I want to tell you when He calls you ‘Son’ or ‘Daughter’ you are in! Thank God, you’re in! Oh, hallelujah! Praise His glorious name!
He says to her then a two-fold kind of healing. He said, “Your faith hath made thee whole, so you go in peace.” Can you imagine what it was like to have the turmoil and the burden of confusion and doubt and fear and worry to roll away off her heart, to go in peace. That inward kind of healing where you can say ‘Nothing between my soul and my Savior and I can live my life now in perfect peace.’ Then he took care of the physical plague as well and said, “Be whole of thy plague.”
Some folks I know need inward healing and the peace of God. It might take care of part of the physical problems. You just remember here’s one who came into great health because first of all, she received His peace and then she received the physical healing in His pronouncement.
Not everybody that we touch receives help. But everybody who touches Him in faith receives help. Everyone that He touches receives help. Reach up to Jesus tonight!
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