[Editor’s Note: These notes are from the Passion 2012 conference. They are from the perspective of the speaker. Enjoy them, and check out the other sessions from Louie Giglio (opening), Christine Caine, Francis Chan, John Piper, and Louie Giglio (closing).]
We are literally witnessing defined history in the making, for the ages.
He will not force it on you, but He invites you to join him.
Read: Luke 8:40-55 (43-48, emphasized)
[box_light] 40-42On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.
43-45In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”
46Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
47When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
48Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
49While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”
50-51Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.
52-53Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.
54-56Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”[/box_light]
What we are studying is a narrative in a narrative. In this particular scene we have a holy interruption that is accounted for in Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
In Scripture, this woman has been hurting. Twelve years has dragged by; an eternity for her pain and isolation.
We all have our own circumstances inside a greater narrative, a greater story. We think there are so many big things going on that this infinite God has finite compassion and resources. God is not a consumable commodity. You cannot use him up.
[box_light]47When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.[/box_light]
You are incapable of going unnoticed by God, even in this crowd of thousands. There’s something freeing about knowing we’re not hidden.
The beauty of the passage is the uncomfortablity and awkwardness. Even to talk about it. For most of us, the greatest need we have for healing is intensely private. We’re as sick as our secrets. We have a tendency to hide what needs most healing. A habit … wrong … crime … weakness … addiction.
It’s in that secret… that area, that we need the most healing.
Back to the story: The woman’s trauma was physical/spiritual/relational. She was defiled. Is there any other word?
[box_light]Anything that an unclean person touches becomes unclean, and anyone who touches it becomes unclean till evening.”
–Numbers 19:22 (NIV)[/box_light]
If she went into public and touched somebody, it would make them unclean. To go in public was to risk making somebody else unclean.
We are called to be clean people in a very unclean world.
[box_light]“…and I live among a people of unclean lips…”
–Isaiah 6:5 (NIV) [/box_light]
The full impact is this: the woman was going to risk making anyone unclean. Including Jesus.
You can not be unclean enough to mess Jesus up. Jesus Christ is clean enough for both of us.
God made her clean.
[box_light]“But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’
–Acts 11:9 (NLT)[/box_light]
Jesus came so he could be touchable, not just reachable.
Do you have faith enough to reach up and grab on?
There is enough hem to go around to everyone here.
As long as you feel unclean, you’re not going to let him do what he’s going to do. As it says in 2 Peter 1:9:
[box_light]But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.[/box_light]
When I have an awareness that I’ve been cleansed in Christ, the last thing I want to do is go roll in that mud again.
But she touched him. And she was healed. We cannot explain how Jesus works. But once we know how something works, we seek to master it.
And then she fell before him and it was her public profession: she had to say that she was unclean. That is the humility that is inherent in the gospel. It was the faith that drove the touch that welcomed the healing.
You cannot consume him, but he can consume you. Let him.