Year 2 Day 121
Read Mark 5:25-34
Message Alan Burke
You’ve likely heard how bad hospital waiting lists are, apparently Northern Ireland has 'lost control' of hospital waiting lists (I quote that from the BBC by the way, 19 May). Things are pretty dire, the NHS has been underfunded by years and we don’t want to pay more tax to fix it. Even though it’s under funded, even though the waiting lists are bad, I am so so thankful for it. Imagine no NHS, no doctors, no regulation, just self appointed quacks who have wee bottles of cure-alls, our lives would be very different. The woman who came who touched his cloak had been bleeding for twelve years, she had suffered, not only suffered but suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors, and instead of getting better she grew worse.
The significance of the bleeding would have impacted her life in so many ways. To help us understand this we need to know part of the Levitical law, the loss of blood would have made this woman unclean. That may not mean much to us, but those who were unclean couldn’t go into the company of others for they would have made them unclean, if others did come in contact with her they would be banished until evening or they would have had to preform purification rights, ritual washing or sacrifices. In effect this woman was cut off from all physical contact with anyone, if she had been married by now she was likely divorced, she couldn’t be part of normal society and she couldn’t go to the synagogue or the temple. She was cut off from everyone and cut off from God and as she walked the streets, she would have had to shout, unclean, unclean every time anyone came near her. Her entire existence was of isolation, she was shunned by those who knew her, there was no such thing as woman’s aid or the NHS.
Her situation was desperate, she had spent everything she had on quacks, at one time she may have been like Jairus with wealth and status, but now she had spent it all and in the end not only left with nothing instead of her condition improving she had got worse. Twelve long years, that’s every day, three hundred and sixty five days a year for twelve years this was the plight of this woman. In spite of all of this, this woman, heard of Jesus, she came and touched his cloak. Longing in faith just to touch Jesus.
She reached out, touched the cloak of Jesus and was healed. Without a word, the power of Jesus healed her. Then as the wonder of the healing she experienced Jesus knowing the power had left him among the sea of people, stopped to find out who touched him. But instead of rebuking her, Jesus does something else. Knowing that she had faith, Jesus could not let her believe that it was his clothing that cured her rather he tells her that it was her faith (34). Or rather the object of the faith, Jesus Christ himself.
Whether we want to admit it our not this woman is a picture of us without Jesus. Although we may not have known at the time we were desperately sick because of sin, our focus was using our time and what we had to seek remedies which do not work, that might have been pleasure, enjoyment, the stuff that we have, we try to sort the massive hole in our lives and the fear of death we these things, yet it is only Jesus who can fix our problem of sin. This woman had been excluded from the presence and worship of God because of her illness Jesus had the power to heal her and make her clean. Yet the reality is that by our nature none of us are clean, none of us can approach a Holy God, we are spiritually dead, not because of a physical sickness but because of sin, unless we are made clean by Jesus then then we cannot come before God. Jesus alone has the power to make us clean, The power of Jesus - Over spiritual death v 25-34 frees us from our sin so that we can come this day before a Holy God.
Q13 Did our first parents continue in the estate wherein they were created?
Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the estate wherein they were created, by sinning against God. (Gen. 3:6–8,13, Eccl. 7:29)