DT – 2/14: Luke 8:40-48 – Healing of the Bleeding Woman
In order to touch the edge of Jesus’ cloak, the woman had to overcome the crowd who was surrounding Jesus. She had to find her way through the people who were around Jesus, pressing against him. But before she had to overcome the crowd, I think she had to overcome her pessimism about Jesus’ ability to heal, his willingness to heal. Also, having been an outcast for so long, she may have actually come to believe that she’s not worthy of healing: “I’m an anathema because of something I’ve done. Jesus, the healer, is in town? I don’t deserve his healing. And plus, he’s not going to want to do anything for me.”
What I can learn about Jesus is that he cares. And what I can learn is that the pessimistic thoughts that she may have had, and any other thought that may have prevented her from coming to Jesus, aren’t true. God does love. He does care. He cares so much about my story, my past. He cares to such a degree that he would stop everything just to give me an audience with him. I think this is such a timely text for Valentine’s day. Today, our church is going out to homeless shelters, convalescent homes and other institutions where people are neglected. We’re going to tell them about God’s love and tell them that He cares.
I think the woman would have felt loved. I think she would have broke down, and I think hearing the words would have cured 12 years of rejection and ostracism. Like magic, Jesus’ words would have healed her soul. She would have felt accepted. More than her bleeding, her spirit would have been healed.
What I can learn is that it is those who have experienced the healing of Jesus who have a personal relationship with him. The others were with him, pressing against him. But to them, Jesus was just a miracle healer. They didn’t know his personal touch, and they didn’t have a relationship with him. A testimony is a story about what Jesus did for an individual. The crowd has nothing to say: All they can say is that Jesus is a prophet who is great in power (or something like that). Unlike the bleeding woman, Jesus didn’t touch them.