Luke 8:40-55, focusing on 43-48
This year Louie emailed me and told me what
God impressed on his heart what he thought the Lord wanted me to speak on today. When I looked at the passage, it completely resonated with me. It is an awkward passage, but a powerful story.
Read vv. 40-55.
- The people were pressing around Jesus. Similar
to the way we were pressing together during worship. It’s the word used for “crushing grapes”. These people were stepping over each other.
- Verses 43-48 is an interruption in scripture. It is in the middle of another story. It is a holy interruption. This interruption is in
the synoptic gospels yet you rarely hear anybody teach about it. It’s about a woman with an issue of blood.
- For the little girl, her life is flying by. For the woman, her life is dragging by.
- For us, we live our lives sandwiched between a greater narrative and a great need. Just as this woman’s story was sandwiched in another story, ours is too. I was staggered by the statistic: 27 million in slavery. We are surrounded by a great need, yet here we are.
- This story is an interruption in the middle of a story that seems to be the priority and takes care of a need that only seems to be important to the woman.
- Many people live as though God has finite resources or ability to focus on needs. We live as though God can only meet a limited number of needs and cannot not meet ours. This is not true! He is not some commodity that runs out.
- Verse 47 – The woman could not go unnoticed. You cannot go unnoticed from God. Even in this crowd, you cannot God unnoticed. There is something freeing about knowing that you are not hidden before God. He knows where you are sitting.
- The woman’s infirmity makes us extremely uncomfortable. It’s not a passage that you are comfortable talking about. By looking at it, it forces us to enter into some small measure of discomfort. It is meant to be awkward.
- For most of us, the greatest need for healing is intensely private. It is probably so personal and private that we don’t want to talk about it.
- We are as sick as our secrets. We like to hide the thing that needs healing: weakness, crime, addiction. It’s that area that we need healing.
- We are afraid of what it will do to us socially. People might think we’re lame. This woman’s fear was physically, socially, and spiritual.
- This woman was considered defiled. According to Numbers 19:22, she was unclean and anything she touched was unclean. She was defiled and made other things defiled.
- This world’s system has sexually abused all of us. We are verbally abused by this world system. We are called to be a clean people in a unclean world.
- Isaiah said, “Woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips and live among a people of unclean lips…”
- Mark 5:26 adds an important detail to this story. The woman says, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment, I could be made well.” This woman was willing to risk grabbing ahold of Jesus and making him unclean by touching him.
- You cannot be unclean enough to mess Jesus up! You cannot make a mess of him. Jesus is clean enough for us all!
- Our need for healing and wholeness is deep down within us. She just wanted to reach out.
- v. 44 – She came up behind him and touch the fringe of his garment. Look at Numbers 15:37. On the hem of each garment was to be a tassel to be a reminder to live holy unto the Lord.
- Jesus would have been wearing this garment, representing ritual purity. She reaches through the crowd to grab for a tassel.
- Jesus made himself easy to grab. She grabbed the part of him that said, “I am clean.”
- Instead of her making him unclean, she made him clean!
- He came not just to be reachable but to be touchable.
- God already knows what kind of person you are. Do you have faith to reach out and touch him?
- Hebrews 10:19-23. Let us draw near!
- As long as you feel unclean, you will not let him do what he what he wants to do this week.
- Would you receive the depth of cleansing God has for you today and not forget it?
- Would you allow the cross to cleanse you again?
- v. 46 – We can’t understand or explain how Jesus knew somebody had touched him. When you can explain something, you can master it. You can’t master Jesus.
- Jesus knew someone had touched him. When you receive the healing from him, he feels it too!
- v. 47 – For her to say that she had been healed, she had to say that she was unclean. There is a humility inherit in the gospel.
- Jesus tells her that it is her faith that made her well. Her faith drove her.
- Come before him full of faith! God can and will work in your life to affect you and your whole sphere of influence. Reach out to him and have the faith to grab on to him.
- Even though Jesus felt the power go out, he still had the power to go and raise the dead. You cannot consume him, but he can consume you!
Beth is an incredible storyteller and a passionate teacher of the Word of God. She has written numerous books and Bible studies that have encouraged many, particularly women, to love and live on Scripture. Beth is the Founder of Living Proof Ministries based in Houston, TX where she lives with her husband Keith. Website: http://www.lproof.org/