Mark 5:24(b) – 34
Reach Out And Touch Him
June 28, 2015
The story in our passage for today is actually a story within a story. The first story begins when Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, asks Jesus to come to his house and heal his daughter. On the way to Jairus’ house, they are interrupted by a sick woman who reaches out to Jesus for healing. The sick woman seems to be an interruption to the story, an inconvenience for Jairus, a detour from the important things in Jairus’ life. I’m sure Jairus must have been waiting impatiently, sitting on pins and needles, as Jesus was “interrupted” by this sick woman. After all, his daughter was sick too, near death, and time was of the essence. The woman with the flow of blood wasn’t the focus of the journey that Jesus was on, but Jesus took the time to meet her need as well, so let’s not dismiss the importance of this sick woman. Let’s not treat her as merely a parenthesis in the greater story of Jairus and his need. There is a reason she is mentioned by Matthew, Mark and Luke in their gospels, so let’s look at the details of her story and see if we can discover God’s word to us.
The first detail we need to look at is this woman’s difficulty.
She had been sick for 12 years with an abnormal bleeding condition. For some reason her blood wouldn’t clot normally, and her constant bleeding caused her to be weak, tired, frail, and drained of energy. It’s one thing to have a bad day, week, month, or year but this woman had a bad 12 years! Under Jewish law, she was “untouchable”, cut off from the rest of society, an outcast. She couldn’t marry, or if she was married, her condition was grounds for divorce. She couldn’t go to the temple to worship. She couldn’t socialize. She was an outcast. According to Leviticus, anything or anybody she touched would be considered “unclean”. If she touched a person, that person must wash their clothes, take a bath, and would be considered “unclean” until the evening. She infected everyone and everything she touched. For 12 long years, she had lived in this isolation.
OK, so everybody has “issues”. For this woman, it was a 12 year flow of blood. You may have some unresolved “issues” that you brought with you here this morning. Maybe it’s a physical issue. Maybe something the doctors haven’t been able to resolve. Maybe it’s a financial issue. Maybe you feel overwhelmed and burdened down. Maybe it’s a social issue. Maybe you’re dealing with problems with your family or friends. Or maybe it’s a spiritual issue that is weighing you down.
Yea. Everybody has “issues”.
When did the woman in our passage for today find relief from her “issues”? She found relief when she fell down at the feet of Jesus and reached out and touched Him. Reaching out to Jesus is a good starting place to find relief from your “issues”. Whatever your “issue” might be, reach out and touch Jesus, like this woman eith the flow of blood did, and like her, you’ll find relief.
The next detail about the woman with the flow of blood we need to consider is her despair. Most people would rather have “health” than “wealth”. She was no exception, except that she lost both. She had tried every doctor and every cure, but all it did was make her sicker and poorer. Jewish law gave 11 different cures for bleeding. This woman tried every available cure and every available doctor. Nothing worked, and now she was both sick and broke.
You know, with all the doctors we have available this day and time there are still those who don’t find cures for their diseases and end up spending a lot of money without finding a cure. We can understand how this woman must have felt.
And what about spiritual ailments? People try all sorts of “cures” today for their spiritual ailments. They may try Dr. Morality and try to get on God’s good side by living a moral, upright life. They may try Dr. Feeling and try to stay on a spiritual “high” by attending seminars, reading books, going to Christian concerts, listening to preachers that make them “fel good” about themselves. They many try Dr. Legality and try to live righteously by obeying all the rules set up by the church, or other Christians, and even rules they have set up for themselves. They may even try Dr. Church and try to impress God with their church attendance, and even their participation in church activities. “Look at me, God … aren’t you impressed?”
It was only when the woman with the flow of blood had tried everything else, and nothing worked, that she turned to Jesus. For 12 years she had “faith” in doctors, but they all failed her. Now, she turns her faith toward Jesus, who never fails. It wasn’t her “faith” that was her problem, it was the object of her faith that failed her. If you put your faith in anyone or anything else to help you with the “issues” of your life, it and they will fail you just like they did her. Put your faith in Jesus and you’ll find the help you need. Reach out and touch Jesus, as the woman with the flow of blood did, and find the same healing that she found.
A third point about the woman with the flow of blood we need to think about is her desperation. Verse 27 says she had heard about Jesus. Where do you think she heard about Jesus? Others had touched Jesus and were healed, and she had heard stories about Jesus and His ability to heal. She had heard, and believed that Jesus could heal her, if only she could touch Him! She was desperate, and had no other hope. Her symptoms had started years before Jesus began His ministry, and when she “heard about Jesus” she had already suffered for 12 long years. Now, there was hope, her last hope, her only hope.
You know, this day and time it may be easy for us to believe that everyone has heard about Jesus. Surely everyone who has entered the doors of Edgewood has heard about Jesus. But what about everybody in Sanford, or Lee County, or North Carolina ? How can you live in America, you may be thinking, and not have “heard about Jesus”? Well, I don’t know who has “heard about Jesus”, but I do know that it’s your and my responsibility to tell people about Jesus. Now, you can’t be saved just by “hearing” about Jesus. There may be some who attend church every Sunday and “hear about Jesus”, but have no saving relationship with Him. Hearing about Jesus is important, but that alone won’t “heal” you, help you with your “issues”, or “save” you. The woman with the flow of blood had “heard” about Jesus, but then, in faith, she went out to meet Him, reached out and touched Him, and was healed.
Friends, all of you have “heard” about Jesus, and you perhaps know that Jesus can save you, can give you hope, faith, strength, grace, mercy, peace and victory. Jesus invites you who know Him to know Him better and have a deeper relationship with Him. He invites you to reach out and touch Him, and have your life changed by Him. If you want help with your “issues” and salvation, reach out and touch Jesus. That’s where you will find what you need for life, as well as the thing you need the most, the salvation Jesus offers.
The fourth point we need to notice about the woman with the flow of blood is her deliverance. Verse 29 tells us that she was healed immediately after touching Jesus. She was healed when she touched Jesus. After 12 years of torment and suffering, she was “immediately” healed and she “immediately” knew it. Salvation is instantaneous! You are either lost or you are saved, there is no middle ground. If you have not ever done so, reach out to Jesus. Reach out and touch Him, and find salvation.
The woman in this passage was determined to do something about her condition. She was desperate. Most would have given up years and dollars ago. No one would have blamed her for saying, “I can’t trust anybody anymore! I give up!” But, she didn’t give up, and found healing. You know, Jesus has never given up on you! Jesus is ready to give you what you need for your “issues” and to save you from your sins, all you have to do is reach out to Him and touch Him.
The last thing we need to consider about the woman in this passage is her declaration to Jesus. After she was healed she fell down at the feet of Jesus and “told Him the whole truth”. She told Him about her infirmity, about her attempts for a cure, about how she had tried everything and everybody else first. She “told Him the whole truth.” What “truth” do you need to tell Jesus this morning? Jesus already knows, but He wants to hear it from your lips. Are you lost in sin? Tell Jesus, reach out and touch Jesus, and He will save you. Is there an illness or physical problem you need His help with? Tell Him, reach out and touch Him, and need, even if is the hope and strength you need to deal with your problem.
Up to this point, the woman in this passage had not spoken. Now, she could no longer hide in the crowd. If the story had stopped at 5:29, she would have walked away healed but not whole. Does this describe you? “Healed” but not “whole”? Jesus doesn’t want you to be a silent Christian. Don’t get lost in the crowd.
What was the purpose of the woman’s confession? Why do we need to speak out and not be hidden in the crowd? We need to speak out for the glory of God. If someone does something nice for you, don’t you want to thank them for it? Does Jesus deserve any less? Should you rob God of the glory that is due Him? The woman also needed to speak out for the good of Jairus. Jairus needed his faith strengthened and a word of encouragement. Others need to hear your story about what Jesus has done for you so their faith can be strengthened. They need to hear of what Jesus has done in your life.
I know that, deep down, you want to be like this woman who reached out and touched Jesus and was changed forever. Jesus will make you “whole”. He will save you from your sins, give you a new life and new purpose, and help you with your “issues” in your life. The woman reached out and touched Jesus. Maybe that’s all Jesus wants you to do here this morning. Just reach out and touch Him”. After all, He’s always reaching out to you. Jesus is reaching out to you right now. He’s reaching out to your “issues”, to your needs, to your heartaches and pain. Don’t get lost in the crowd. Reach out to Jesus and touch the Him. Touch His comfort, joy, strength, power, peace His gift of salvation, and His love. Jesus is waiting for you to reach out and touch Him. Amen.