Hi, this is Pastor Ken and these are my thoughts on a Thursday…Part Deux Tell.
For those listening to this podcast as opposed to reading it who know my infatuation with a good pun, I am spelling the word do, D-E-U-X as in the number two in French. So, for your benefit this edition is entitled “Part two – Do Tell. This is in fact part two of our look at the scriptural account I introduced last week in the episode entitled “Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures”. In that message I pointed out that the nameless desperate woman we read about in Mark chapter five who had experienced a twelve year battle with a hemorrhage also had a desperate faith that Jesus could make her whole again. She determined in her heart that if she could just get near enough to Jesus to touch His clothes, she would be healed. The law that governed her actions due to her “unclean” condition didn’t allow for her to approach Him as so many others did. As we read last week, the Bible tells us that she approached Jesus from behind, and my belief is that she did that to avoid violating the law she was restricted by. Her righteous attempt to obey the letter of the law and at the same time act in her desperate faith in Jesus’ ability to heal her is remarkable. Her desperate faith compelled her forward to her exchange with her Messiah, but didn’t extinguish her desire to obey her understanding of God’s law. I wonder as she approached Jesus from behind, were her quivering lips whispering the words “Unclean…unclean” hoping they would not be heard this one time and give her presence away? We read last week that as soon as she touched Jesus’ robe her bleeding stopped and she knew that she was whole. This week we are going to pick the account up there as another understanding was taking place…so now, Part – Deux – Tell.
Today we resume the account we began reading last week in Mark Chapter Five. Mark 5:30-34 in the New Century Version says, At once Jesus felt power go out from him. So he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” His followers said, “Look at how many people are pushing against you! And you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” But Jesus continued looking around to see who had touched him. The woman, knowing that she was healed, came and fell at Jesus’ feet. Shaking with fear, she told him the whole truth. Jesus said to her, “Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace; be healed of your disease.”
Last week I told you how this woman was treated under the law, and how in her desperate actions she was ministered to by the power of Grace. In that segment of the passage we discovered that it was an extraordinary thing that she did to get to Jesus because of the Law, but that in so doing He did a more incredible thing in her life through the awesome touch of His Grace. Today I want to focus on the second exchange that took place between this woman and Jesus immediately after she knew she that was healed the instant she touched the hem of His clothes.
This healing account describes the first exchange as Jesus felt the healing power go out of him…and she felt her illness leave her. The ‘parade’ must have come to a halt because the Bible says that Jesus stopped, turned, and asked the question “Who touched my clothes?” His disciples were astonished at this question! By this time, they were quite used to people rushing up to see Jesus, pushing up to Him with no account for His personal space. I imagine they saw this crowd no differently than they had seen countless others before, and so they tried to point out the obvious. “Look at how many people are pushing against you! And you ask, ‘Who touched me?” their incredulousness at his query did not deter Jesus, He continued looking to see who it was that had touched His clothes. I think He knew exactly who it was, I believe that just as He did with the woman at the well, He already knew this poor woman’s entire life story. But, just like she had been on a mission to get to Jesus, I think He also had a worthy goal in mind by coming to a halt and asking “Who touched me?”
What happened next exemplifies a valuable lesson for us. The woman who had for so long tried to remain hidden away from others, was now being summoned right into the spotlight. Jesus desired to have another exchange with her, this time a verbal one…He wanted to have a loving conversation with her. For well over a decade, she had lived as an outcast, banished by her leaders, ostracized by her peers, rejected by everyone. Now in this moment, she was being sought after by the Rabbi, Healer, Master, her Messiah! No wonder she came and fell before Him trembling as she stammered her way through her story that He likely already knew so well! But Jesus was up to something. He was teaching…her…the crowd…us. The lesson among others…when you reach out to Jesus and He meets your needs, no matter how big…or small they seem…you’ve got to tell somebody! Jesus wants us to testify to others what He has done for us! All of us were created to bring Him glory. All of us were created for His pleasure. We all have a great, lofty and noble purpose…to give praise to the One who gives to us…everything we have!
My guess is that was not the last time this woman told her story about the day Jesus healed her. I imagine she told it so many times no one she knew or met thereafter was left unaware. I bet she never stopped telling how Jesus had taken her illness, her failures, her sinfulness, her desperation, all of it, and with one measure of His incredible Grace, made right everything that was wrong in her life!
After their conversation, Jesus dismissed her in peace, healed, and probably most important to her, accepted! This version says He addressed her as “Dear woman”, the original text however, says He used the Greek word “Thugater” and means daughter, and in that language would have included any female descendant regardless of how far removed. Jesus was claiming her as His own. He was saying that spiritually they were now in relationship, while physically he was pronouncing that he was her Creator and in that sense she was indeed His daughter. While some or much of that may have escaped this simple woman, it did not elude Jesus. He was tenderly letting her know He loved her immensely and intensely, and whether she understood it or not…throughout eternity…He always had.
Jesus cares the same for each of us. So what has He done for you? Are you telling everyone you can about it? Are you giving Him the glory for what He has done in your life? Are you using the examples of His touch of Grace in your life to spur others to seek that same touch in theirs? He hasn’t blessed you with His Power, His Grace, His forgiveness so you can keep it to yourself. In fact, others often see His blessing on our lives, and if we don’t tell them that it is by His Gracious hand alone that we get to experience those blessings, we are in effect taking the credit for ourselves. If Jesus has been so very, very good to you…and…He has, then part two is do tell…do tell…and then do tell some more!
So now…Desperate times call for Desperate measures, so Do Tell everybody you can about the Power of Jesus’ Grace in your life…and Go Be Awesome!