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8.THE TOUCH THAT TRANSFORMS
Mark 5:21-34


Before Reading the Passage

Mark 5 gives us just one day in the life of our Lord. It was a busy day, for He performed at least three miracles. He proved Himself to be Lord over Demons, over Disease, and over Death.

• The first 20 verses of Mark 5 tell us that Jesus cast demons out of a man and in doing so sent the demons into a herd of pigs. Mark tells us that there were 2,000 pigs and when the demons entered into the pigs, they ran down a steep bank and into the sea and drowned in the sea. When the people saw what had happened they were afraid and begged Jesus to leave their town.

• Jesus gets into a boat, goes to the other side of the sea and is met by a large crowd of folks. In the crowd was Jairus, one of the rulers of the synagogue who fell on his face before Jesus and asked Him to come to his house to heal his young daughter. She was twelve years old but was at the point of death.

• As Jesus was on His way to Jairus' house, a woman with an issue of blood, a hemorrhage, comes behind Him and touches the hem of His garment and was healed.

• This miracle of healing the woman with the flow of blood for twelve years has been called “a parenthesis miracle,” for Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jairus when this woman in faith came and touched the hem of His garment.

• In one sense, all of the miracles of Jesus were parenthetical, sandwiched in, as He moved on to His great work on the cross. As He made His way through this world, the cross was always before Him, but along the way there were people who were hurting, people with needs. On His way to Calvary Jesus stopped to help people. So it was with this woman who reached out and touched Jesus.

Read the Passage

There's a tremendous truth I want you to see about God: God is attracted to weakness. He can't resist those who humbly and honestly admit how desperately they need Him.

I want us to focus in on this woman who, by faith, touched His garment.

Someone had told this woman about Jesus. Who was it? When was it? How was it done? Never underestimate the power of an unconscious witness.

Three things I want you to see about this woman:

I. Her Condition 5:25-26

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We need to keep in mind that this woman was more than a character of the flat pages of our Bible. She was a real person with a tremendous need.

A. She was Diseased

• For 12 years she had had the disease. I think it is interesting to note that she had suffered with the disease for as long as Jairus' daughter had been alive.

• Twelve years is a long time to suffer with a disease. Twelve days is a long time to suffer with a disease. Twelve hours is a long time to suffer if you have an abscessed tooth – that will bring a

man to his knees.

• Not only had she been fighting the disease for 12 years, she was losing the fight – she was getting worse; not better.

• On top of all that, the disease affected her not only physically, but spiritually and socially. According to Jewish law (Leviticus 15:25) she was to be considered unclean.

• She was excommunicated from the temple. She could not go to public worship. She knew that some would believe that her condition was a result of some personal sin – some perversion – some sexual sin.

• She was cut off from society. She couldn't associate with others. She had to keep her distance. If she had been married, her husband could divorce her. She was shut out by her family. She could not hold her own children, if she had any.

• Emotionally, there were tears, loneliness and heartbreaks.

• The steady loss of blood for 12 years had taken its toll. She was anemic, pale, and tired – tired of the shame and tired of the stigma.

• But if all you see here is her physical disease, you have missed the point, for her disease is a picture of what sin will do in the life of a person.

- Sin always drains a life. It always takes from a life. It never adds to a life.

- Notice: She tried to keep it secret...as do we.

- Sin, no matter how secret, will always affect us mentally, morally and physically.

B. She was Desperate 5:26

• Because of her condition, she felt worthless, unaccepted.

• She tried many remedies and many doctors that promised cures, but none worked. She only grew worse.

• I know a lot of folks who are trying to solve their basic heart problem with different remedies and doctors

- Some try Dr. Pleasure. He says, “Come to me. I have some sweet-tasting medicines, but I

warn you, they are all laced with poison.”

- Some try Dr. Intelligence. He says, “Come to me and I'll fill your head with facts.” But it

won't fill the needs of your heart.

- Some try Dr. Religion. He says, “Come to me and I'll give you some salve to make you feel

good about yourself.” Like Adam and Eve, folks try to cover their sins with fig leaves, but

there must be the shedding of blood to cover our sins.

- Dr. Jesus is the only One who can make us whole.

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C. She was Destitute 5:26

• The only things the doctors relieved her of was her money.

• That's what sin will do to us – leave us empty.

II. Her Cure

A. She Trusted Jesus 5:27-28

• She had heard the doctors say, no cure. You are going to just have to live with it. It's just the cross you must bear.

• A cure...impossible. But the word impossible is not in God's vocabulary. He can speak this world into existence; He can instantaneously split a sea in half so two million can walk through it; He can walk on water; restore a withered hand; bring the dead back to life.

This God knows no impossibilities.

• What if she had taken the advice of the doctors and not come to Jesus?

• She said, “If I can just touch the hem of His garment.” Matthew 9:20 says, “hem”; Luke 8:44 says “border;” Mark says “clothes.” When we think of the hem or border we usually think of the bottom part of a robe. But in Numbers 15:388-39 God instructed His people to put four blue woolen tassels on cords and attach them to the four corners of the robe around the shoulder to remind the people of God's law. It was on the upper back of Christ's robe.

B. She Touched Jesus 5:27-28

• Sorrow and trouble drive people to Jesus. For many, He is the last resort. If sorrow never visited them, they would feel no need of Jesus. If they could find some other cure for their hurt, they would never seek His help.

• What made her think of touching His garment? Her's was a disease that made her feel ashamed. For one thing, she was too modest to tell Jesus her problem and then ask Him to heal her. For another thing, she was afraid that if she had asked Him to heal her, He might have replied, “Don't touch me! Get away! You're defiled!” That's how everyone else had treated her. No doubt that's why she touched Him from behind.

• She thought she could be healed without Jesus knowing it. She hoped to touch His garments secretly, steal her cure, and disappear back into the crowd. She thought Jesus wouldn't feel her touch, but immediately Jesus “knowing in Himself that power had going out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, 'Who touched My clothes?'”

III. Her Confession 5:30-34

The word “virtue” does not have a moral meaning. He is not talking about purity, but power. The word used here is the word we get our word dynamite and dynamo from. “Power had gone out of Him.”

There is, what I would call, the cost of mercy. There is no doing good without expense, without paying the price. We are apt to think these miracles of healing which Jesus performed cost Him nothing. It

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wasn't simply a word spoken or a wave of His hand. Every miracle had its cost. (Matthew 8:16-17) He felt the ills that affected others as if they were His own. And He was able to remove them only by what was impartation of His life. His goodness cost Him a price.

It was the consciousness of this drain on His power that made Jesus turn and ask, “Who touched Me?”

Look back at 5:27. That word “press” means “to smother,” “to crush, like the crushing of grapes,” “to leave no breathing room.”

• You have watched as the pope walked through a crowd and people pressed in around him. That's the way it was with Jesus. Our Lord was constantly bumped, pushed, shoved, handled, and crushed by others.

• But Jesus knew the difference between the touch of faith and the thronging of unbelief. Jesus knew many had touched Him and made physical contact with Him, but someone had touched Him with the touch of faith and there was all the difference in the world.

• He still knows the difference today. Have you ever gone to church, sat in the crowd, heard the sermon, sung a few hymns and left with an empty feeling? Someone else left the same service blessed. What was the difference? Some enter the service with no sense of their need and don't reach out in faith wanting God to do something in their life. It's impossible, like those who pressed Him, to get close to Christ and receive no blessing.

• In the fifth century Augustine said, “Flesh presses; faith touches.”

Jesus said, “Who touched me?” Somebody touched Him in faith and it made His heart sing. It stopped Him in His tracks! It brought gladness to His heart, but it also brought sorrow. Everyone of them needed a touch from Him. Everyone of them could have claimed the privilege, but only one availed herself of the opportunity while the rest of them let the opportunity pass by.

• Here's the amazing thing: When He asked “Who touched Me?” they ALL denied it. Odd, isn't it? They were all pressing Him, but no one admitted to touching Him. They were like little children, afraid of getting into trouble if they admitted it.

• I think He wanted more people to touch Him in faith!

• No one goes unnoticed by Jesus, least of all, a person acting in faith.

Jesus asked, “Who touched Me?” and He looked around – I think several times at her – and she came “fearing and trembling.”

• At first glance it seems cruel and harsh of Jesus to make this woman come forward.

• She came with fear and trembling because she felt guilty by the way she had gained her healing. She thought Jesus might by upset and scold her for touching Him since she was unclean. She just wanted to carry the secret of what He had done for her back into the crowd.

But Jesus asked the question, NOT because He wanted her to reveal herself to Him as much as He wanted to reveal Himself to her.

He had cured her, now He wanted her to confess Him, and she gained three blessing:

1. Teaching

- He wanted her to know that it wasn't His Fringe or her Finger, but her Faith that made her

whole.

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- The Lord corrected her view of healing. It wasn't the garment or the touch or some kind of

magic but her faith in Him. It wasn't faith in the HEM but faith in HIM that made her whole.

- It is not walking down an aisle, or putting your hand in a preacher's hand or going through the

water that saves, but faith in HIM!

2. Tranquility – “Daughter....go in peace”

- “Your faith has made you whole.” She was in a new family – a child of God.

- Her fear and trembling has vanished.

- She is whole – continuously whole, never to relapse. The Healer was due His honor!