Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Disease

What a week it's been. I'm finally feeling better after having a terrible crick in my neck and headache that accompanied it! I just wanted to take a minute and share a little about what God's been teaching me the past few days. I have been reading through the gospels because I just deeply want to immerse myself in the life of Christ. I need to know Him better and how better to know Him than by reading His very words?

This past Sunday, my sweet hubby preached at church. And I'm little biased but I think he did a great job! He did a little overview of the first few books of Matthew and then preached out of Matthew 11. "Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (vs. 29). In his overview he touched on the verses in Matthew 9 about the woman with the discharge. It just so happened that I was almost to that story in my own personal reading in the gospel of Mark. I have always been fond of the story because of her words, "If I only touch his garment, I will be made well." But I have been thinking deeper this week about her story. I've wondered how must it have felt to be her. Today I read of the account in Mark's gospel and it gives a little more detail. First if you understand the way things were in those days you know that she was an outcast. Pardon me for being blunt but all woman at their 'time of the month' were considered ceremonial unclean. So, having a discharge of blood for 12 years, she was completely untouchable and shunned by society. Like a leper, if she were to go in public she would have to declare herself, "Unclean, unclean!" for all to hear. I can imagine she didn't get out much. Scripture tells us she had exhausted all funds trying to find a cure. She was getting worse and she had no hope. She would have to continue to live this lonely, isolated life.

Then she heard Jesus was coming. She had heard of Him, scripture tells us that much. She knew He was healing people. Maybe word had carried across the sea about the healing of the man called Legion. And maybe she had heard that the demons had called him "the Son of God". Maybe she had heard of Him speaking to the storm and causing it to be still. Only the Creator can speak to it's creation, right? I'm not sure what all she knew or believed of Jesus, but she knew enough to believe He could heal her. And she knew she had to get to Him. The language in the text suggest that her one line in scripture is one she said over and over to herself, "If I can touch even his garments, I will be made well." She was on a mission. She had to get to Him. At this point in Jesus' ministry, I imagine it was pretty difficult to get very close to Jesus. People of all kinds were flocking to see him, some for true need and some out of curiosity. Some wanted to find any fault in what He did or said. Just imagine the crowd. The Bible says, "A great crowd followed him and thronged about him." There were tons of people and they were pressing into Jesus as he walked. She put aside her shame and embarrassment. She pushed her way through the crowd. No longer saying, "Unclean, unclean" but rather..

"If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well...

If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well...

If I can just touch his garments, I will be made well... "

Oh her faith! And what happens? She comes up behind Jesus and touches his garment and immediately she is healed. Jesus turns and says, "Who touched my garments?" His disciples must have thought this was a crazy question because they pretty much say, "Um, do you see this crowd? I'm sure lots of people have touched you." But when the woman saw Jesus looking for her, she fell at his feet and told Him her story. Oh to have been there! I can't wait to find her in heaven and ask her about that first conversation with Jesus. And Jesus' reply to her is, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace. Your suffering is over." Daughter... Jesus called her daughter! She was no longer unclean or an outcast. She was daughter. She had been healed physically and spiritually and now was a daughter of the Most High. What a beautiful, beautiful picture of the gospel!

I am thanking Jesus today that I am daughter as well. I'm also remembering my hopeless, helpless days. My life was unclean and disease ridden. My disease was sin. It reminds me of this song..

I once was lost in darkest night
Yet thought I knew the way
The sin that promised joy and life
Had led me to the grave
I had no hope that You would own
A rebel to Your will
And if You had not loved me first
I would refuse You still

But as I ran my hell-bound race
Indifferent to the cost
You looked upon my helpless state
And led me to the cross
And I beheld God's love displayed
You suffered in my place
You bore the wrath reserved for me
Now all I know is grace!

Hallelujah! All I have is Christ
Hallelujah! Jesus is my life
Hallelujah! All I have is Christ

Hallelujah! Jesus is my life

Now, Lord, I would be Yours alone
And live so all might see
The strength to follow Your commands
Could never come from me
Oh Father, use my ransomed life
In any way You choose
And let my song forever be
My only boast is You!

And yes, today my heart sings... "Hallelujah! All I have is Christ! Hallelujah! Jesus is my life!" And my dearest friends, if you find yourself hopeless and without Christ, oh just reach out and touch His garment! He alone can heal the greatest disease that seperates us from God. He is faithful to heal and He is faithful to save! Glory to His name!"> alt="a-wise-woman-builds-her-home" border="0" src="" />