A Desperate Woman…
And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. (Mark 5:25-33)
IN 1953 I FOUND A BOOK OF SPURGEON'S SERMONS on a fast-sale table and took the book home. In it was a sermon: “Tell it All” preached June 14, 1863. I was greatly impressed by it and I am still impressed. I have read the sermon several times through the years and published this article a couple of years ago. I misplaced the book, so I looked it up on the Internet and read it again. (You can read the sermon here: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/spurgeon/sermons09.xxviii.html) (This sermon has been accessed more than 82,226 times since June 1, 2005)
THERE ARE SOME BOOKS THAT I TRY TO READ ONCE A YEAR and this is one of the classic sermons that wears well after many readings. Briefly, Jesus had just cast demons out of a naked, demon-possessed man who came toward him out of the graveyard. (Afterward, the man was clothed and in his right mind.) Jesus was asked to leave so He got into a boat and crossed the Sea of Galilee.
AS HE GOT OUT OF THE BOAT, the ruler of the local synagogue approached him about coming with him to heal his little daughter who was at the point of death. Jesus went with him and a crowd moved along with them.
AS JESUS STARTED ON HIS WAY TO HEAL THE LITTLE GIRL, a Jewish woman pushed through the crowd toward him. She had been bleeding for twelve years and had spent everything she had on doctors. She had heard about the Jesus preacher. She decided if she could get close enough to Him to touch his clothes she would be healed. She wouldn’t have to touch his hand. She wouldn’t tell anyone she was bleeding, because under Mosaic Law she was considered “unclean” and should not touch anyone. She did not want to make him unclean (Leviticus.15:25). So, she followed with the crowd that was walking behind Him.
IN DESPERATION, SHE MOVED THROUGH THE CROWD TOWARD HIM. Can you see her stretching her trembling hand trying to reach him? No one knew her or that she was bleeding and unclean. Finally, she was able to touch the hem of His outer garment. That’s all she could do, just the hem, not the sleeve nor the waist.
MARK WROTE: And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? (Mark 5:29-31)
THE DISCIPLES WERE JUST LIKE US. They fashioned their reality out of what they could see, and the pieces of the puzzle did not fit. Jesus did not ask about who touched Him to find out who had touched Him. He knew exactly who had touched Him. He asked the question to begin communication with the woman. It’s like when God called to Adam: “Where art thou?” God knew where Adam was. Jesus knew who had touched Him.
And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:32-34)
THE WOMAN KNEW IMMEDIATELY THAT SOMETHING HAD HAPPENED INSIDE HER. In a burst of strength, she probably drew back and stood up in amazement! Being full of strength was something new for her! It had been twelve years since she had had such strength! Weakness of the body tends to cause the body to slump forward. But now, she could stand up straight!
SHE WAS BEHIND JESUS BUT SUDDENLY HE TURNED AROUND TOWARD HER. She was not an educated woman, but she knew more than the puzzled disciples at that moment. Her response was fear and trembling. She had better get everything out in the open. She fell to her knees in front of Him and began to sob and blurt out her story to Him in front of the startled crowd.
McGEE MAKES THIS OBSERVATION: “The disciples thought it was a very peculiar question since the whole crowd was pressing in on Him. But only one touched Him in faith for healing! The situation is the same today. I think we have a lot of folk around who use the name of Jesus freely. They are running around saying that it is Jesus this, and Jesus that, and people think they certainly know Him.
“SURELY, THEY KNOW HIM, BUT THEY HAVE NOT TOUCHED HIM as the crowd touched Him—not like this woman touched Him, for she touched Him in faith for healing.”
The crowd was all around Him and they certainly had been touching Him but only one woman touched Him by faith and did business with Him. When we come to church we may get into the routine of things. Our habit of worship takes over and we sing without thinking about what we are singing. We go through the motions but have no real connection with the Lord. We can do better than that. Let’s reach out to Him with determination.
THERE ARE TWO WAYS WE CAN REACH OUT TO THE LORD like the woman with the issue of blood. We can come to him out of desperation (as she did). Or, we can come to him in quiet surrender to everything we know He wants of us. God works through desperation of His saints and He works through His quiet persistence. We can have the thunderstorm or the quiet, steady rain that goes all night and waters deeply.
THE BIBLE DOESN'T SAY THIS, but I believe that God put in her heart what to do to get results. The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. (Psalm 34:18) The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. (Psalm 145:18)
WE DO NOT "BUY" GOD'S GRACE AND ANSWERS TO PRAYER with a broken heart or a contrite spirit, but we do remove the barriers that hinder Him from doing what He would otherwise do. It is important to remember:” … God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6) Peter says the same thing: (1Peter 5:5)
There’s a warehouse full of gold in the story of the desperate woman. She told Him all. Let us tell Him all. Ω
Read Through the Bible in a Year
JULY 8, 2019 – MONDAY
A.M. Job 38-39 P.M. 1Acts 15:1-21
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Memory Verse This Month:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children. As they were increased, so they sinned against me: therefore will I change their glory into shame. (Hosea 4:6-7)
Song for Today:
Sweet Beulah Land (3:47) (Carrol Roberson)
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YEAR 'ROUND we should drink plenty of water, but now that we are in the summer months, it’s even more important. We can get water from all kinds of drinks, but nothing is as good for us as plain ‘ole water. We seniors must be especially careful to drink water because many of us lose our sense of thirst. That happened to me several years ago. We can dehydrate easily and this can have serious consequences.
WE SHOULD DRINK AT LEAST A QUART OF WATER a day, plus our normal “other” liquids such as coffee, tea, cokes, (did I say “cokes?”) etc. Less than that will almost certainly bring on the beginning of dehydration. Many people run on mild dehydration all the time and it messes up many things in our bodies. It will make the urine strong enough to burn and irritate the kidneys and tubes. The irritation will make you want to ‘go” when you don’t need to. (A doctor set me straight on that many years ago.)
WE NEED "NICE URINE" ALL THE TIME. Your car needs enough water to keep the engine cool. Your body needs water for cooling and for several other things. If you are taking blood pressure medicine that is diuretic (makes you go), then you will need to drink water but not a lot at one time. Keep water close by and drink a little every few minutes.
THE STANDARD ADVICE IS TO DRINK A HALF-OUNCE of water for each pound of body weight and at least a half-gallon. That’s 64 ounces, the amount of water for one who weighs 128 pounds. I never drink a half-ounce ounce for each pound of body weight, but I do try to goad myself into drinking at least a quart, 8 ounces at a time.
I KEEP WATER BY THE BED, BESIDE THE COMPUTER, IN THE CAR, beside my reading chair, and at the kitchen bar. Some people eat when they really should drink some water. They are not hungry… they are thirsty but don’t know it. (It’s the doctor thing again; I didn’t think this up.) So, how are you doing on your water?