Series: Who touched Me?| Title: General | Sermon by: Pastor Balan Swaminathan | Location: House of Intercessory Prayer Ministries, Halifax, NS Canada | Date: Sunday, December 3, 2017
We are reading from
Mark 5:25-34 25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. 28 For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
Here we read one of the many miracles that took place in the life of Jesus, where we see a woman with the issue of blood, came behind and touched the garment of Lord God and got healed instantly. Jesus turned to the multitude and asked, “Who touched me”? This morning I would like to title my sermon as: “Who touched me”?
We see many kinds of people following Lord Jesus in that particular situation. We see the disciples following Lord Jesus, great multitude following Lord Jesus. Who were all there in the multitude? There were many sick people, just ordinary people like you and me, Pharisees, tax collectors, teachers of the law, women. This morning I want to talk about the kind of people, that were following Jesus Christ.
First group of people – Religious people
- People who strictly follow the law. When Jesus arrived, it was old testament period still people were living in, those who did not realize that Jesus is Messiah. He’s going to divide the history into two. They never realized that the new testament period, the dispensation of grace is about to begin. They had no clue about it. They were still thinking that, they were living in the old testament period, so they were still following the law very strictly.
- People who judge others, they follow the Jesus very closely, wherever Jesus went, they were found there, just to judge Jesus and people who followed Lord God.
- Group of people who think heaven belongs to them.
- Some of those people were spiritually very prideful. Even they considered somebody else inferior than themselves. They considered themselves as better than someone else spiritually.
- There were people, they said I know everything, who is this Jesus, what is he preaching or talking about, I know the old testament law, I know the traditions.
- People who were saying, they are children of Abraham. Who is this Jesus? Son of Joseph and Mary.
- Bible says these people were prideful, they were full of jealousy, they had wrath within them, they did not have any fruit in their lives, they had love for money.
- In fact, Jesus calls such people as hypocrites, they were following Jesus. Jesus also turned to some people and told them you are white washed tombs, brood of vipers, stiff-necked people – they were religious people. Even today in this world, we come across such religious people in Christianity. They hold on to the religion, they are willing to give their life for the sake of religion. Jesus Christ did not come to this world to establish a religion.
- Paul says people who are having a form of godliness but denying its power. We come across such people every where today. They appear to be godly but they deny the power of resurrection.
Second group of people – Needy people
- People like you and me. These people followed Lord God because of their need, because they saw miracles following Lord Jesus. Where ever Jesus went, they were following because they were really fascinated by seeing the miracles that Jesus performed.
- They are like disciples kind of people. When Jesus turned and asked, “who touched me?” Disciple did not have any understanding about what Jesus is asking. Disciples were saying, Lord people are just falling on you, why do you ask, who touched?
- These are the people, who follow Jesus because they are born in the Christian family. They don’t know, why they follow God but they follow Jesus and say they we are Christians.
- These people follow Jesus for material blessings. There are many people who are found in the presence of God, when we are not having job, when we are not having children but when we are blessed with such blessings, do we follow God? If we follow God just only for material blessings, we are more pitiable than those all who do not follow God.
Third group of people – Socially neglected
People who consider themselves so low, they are outcasts, not accepted by the society. Some examples are
- Tax collector- who could not come in the presence of God and was standing far away and saying Lord, I am a sinful man.
- Jesus was sitting at the side of the well, Samaritan women came to Jesus, untouchable, she can’t even speak to a Jew – socially neglected. They are people today following Lord Jesus, they are not recognized by the Christian community or churches.
- The lepers, who used to sit outside the city gate and cry out saying ‘Unclean! Unclean! So that no body will go to that side. They were following Jesus.
- A women with the issue of blood- a social outcast, following our Lord Jesus Christ.
Who this woman was?
(Verse 25 & 26) Bible says that she was a woman with a issue of blood.
- Twelve long years she was suffering with a issue of blood. That was a terrible condition for any woman to go through. Today medically known as hemorrhage or menorrhagia, they go through such as medical condition.
- Bible says, she met many doctors, but could not be cured from that sickness.
- Bile says, she spent all that she had in her life to gain healing but there was no healing.
- Her health was becoming worse than getting better.
- She became so weak and fragile and she could not do anything by herself.
- There were disappointments, frustrations building up in her life.
- Eventually, she had to shut herself in the house because she was socially untouchable according to the law.
She was socially outcast according to the social standards that are defined in the book of law Leviticus chapter 15
- Under the Mosaic law a woman with an issue of blood was considered unclean and was “put apart” for seven days. During those seven days, what ever she touches is considered unclean.
- Leviticus 14 says, if that condition stays more than seven days, all the days of her life, she will be considered unclean and untouchable.
We are talking about a woman, who was going through such condition for 12 long years. I believe, she was totally cut off from the society.
What she did ?
Verse 27 – She heard about Jesus.
- She did not want to make a public appearance. Going and standing in front of Jesus because she is not supposed to go and touch anybody.
- She wanted to come behind Jesus. She found out her way to reach Jesus. From her house, we don’t know, how far Jesus was walking. Jesus was passing that village, I have no idea, how this women can come to Jesus. Such women cannot walk straight, they need to crawl. She was crawling and somehow reached to Jesus and crowd was huge. Crowd was not allowing to go and touch Jesus but somehow she found her way to come behind Jesus.
- She did not even want to touch Jesus.
- She wanted to touch just hem of His garment so that Jesus will not know otherwise she will be caught by everybody and she will be put into death. So she wanted to avoid that.
- It was an unusual touch.
- It was a touch of faith, because bible says power went out of Jesus.
Bible also says, moment she touched garment of Lord Jesus, she got instantly healed. She was so afraid because she wanted to do this in secret. Jesus turned back, she never expected that. She just expected the healing. When Jesus turned back, she was so afraid and trembling because what she did, was not acceptable to the society. Verse 33 says, when Jesus found her in crowd, she was in fear and trembling.
Faith of this woman:
A woman who was having the issue of blood, woman who met many doctors and every appointment was a failure and disappointment in her life, she spent all that she had, given to the doctors and she became so weak and fragile, not accepted by society and could not even come out of the house to be with the society.
She did not miss that moment in her life. She heard that Jesus is passing by. If she would have missed that moment in her life, she would never have gotten that opportunity again in her life. She decided to make an attempt for the healing.
Do you remember about blind Bartimaeus sitting at the side of the road, moment he heard that Jesus is passing by, he was not keeping quiet, he was crying with the loud voice saying, “Lord Jesus have mercy upon me”.
I am talking about something which is important for your life this morning, something that will keep you healthy, that is precious, you cannot take it light.
She knew her moment has come for healing and she did not want to miss that opportunity.
Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
This woman realized, my Lord God is near to me. This is the right time for me to tap into the power of God. She decided to go for it.
- She had a tough and rough life unlike what we have today. Her life was miserable.
- She was living in hopelessness.
- She was all alone because husband abandoned her, children forgot about her and she ended up living in house all alone for the entire life. Totally neglected and considered as an outcast.
- But she could push through the crowd to receive the healing from Lord God because of her faith.
- Bible says, her faith came alive when she heard about Jesus, until that point of time she was thinking about end of her life, about not getting cured at all but when she heard about Jesus, her faith came alive.
- Her faith could not be put down by people. How much struggle she would have got to push through the crowd to reach Lord God. She never thought about what people will think about her. Sometimes in our lives, when we want to access the faith that God has given to us, we worry about, what someone else will think. This is awful. We need a healing touch from God, we want to be blessed in our life, why do we worry about what others are going to think about us? This poor woman never bothered about what people will think about, all that she was in need of Jesus- a touch from His garment.
- That faith did not allow her to keep quiet. James says, “Faith without action is dead”. She got that faith.
- She wanted to find a solution for her problem. God want us to find a solution for our problem, God doesn’t want us to live with that problem. Some of us are so accustomed that if we don’t have a problem, we feel odd.
- Her faith is a simple faith not something great. What was the faith- only if I can touch the hem of His garment. What brings healing today- just a simple faith, childish faith. Example was given as mustard seed of faith to move the mountains.
- This faith was not making her to wait for Jesus to touch her. She did not wait for a moment so that Jesus will come and touch her. She decided to go ahead and touch Jesus.
- Her faith was so great, her faith could draw power out of Jesus.
What is our faith today?
God wants us to reach out to touch Him. Not to wait for him to come and touch us. God wants us to go ahead and touch him.