|She had tried
all the cures the physicians prescribed. She used up all her financial
means seeking a cure, but still her bleeding continued. Her suffering went
deeper than the physical pain and the inconvenience of her chronic illness.
She felt shame because her discharge made her unclean, and anything or anyone she touched became unclean. Because of this, she was separated from her community. If only she could be made well, she would be accepted once again. (Leviticus 15:25-31)
She felt guilt, thinking she must be especially unworthy of God's favor and the company of others.
She had heard that the Rabbi, Jesus, had healed many people. It was rumored he might even be the expected Messiah. If she could just reach him, she would be made well. (Malachi 4:2; Isaiah 53:4-5) But, how could she, an unclean person, get near enough to touch a religious man?
The crowd, pushing and shoving, surrounded Jesus. She joined them. She pushed. She shoved. She pressed on through the thick mass of people. By the time she got close enough, an important official of a synagogue was pleading with Jesus to come with him to heal his dying daughter. Afraid to interrupt, she reached out; her hand brushed the tassels on his cloak; her hand closed and then she let go. She felt a change in her body. She felt the flow stop. She knew she was cured.
Jesus felt power from the Holy Spirit leave him. He turned, looking around at those close to him, “Who touched my clothes?” (Mark 5:30)
She trembled. She hesitated. Then she fell on her knees and “told him the whole truth.” She heard tenderness in the way he called her “Daughter.” She heard admiration in his voice as he praised her faith. Others had only condemned her. She felt his favor, as he blessed her, “Go in peace, and be freed* from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34)
Jesus was interrupted as he was speaking to her. The synagogue ruler, Jairus was being told that his daughter had died and there was no need to bother Jesus any more. Jesus looked at Jairus and said, “Don't be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
Jairus had just witnessed the exchange between Jesus and an unknown woman. He chose to believe. Jesus healed his daughter and brought her back from death.
Jesus continually made the connection between faith and healing. He used physical healing to teach us the relationship between faith (belief in God's power and authority) and the forgiveness of sin.
At an earlier date in Capernaum, Jesus was teaching in a house so crowded that not one more person could squeeze inside. A paralyzed man's friends were so determined to bring him to Jesus to be healed, they dismantled a portion of the roof to lower him inside.
Jesus took this opportunity to teach the people listening to him that his primary mission is the forgiveness of sins.
“…he said to them, ‘…which is easier; to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins….”He said to the paralytic, “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” (Mark 2:9-10)When the power of God healed the woman, Jesus wanted her to know she had also received peace. She was now reconciled to God and to her community through her faith---she believed that he had the authority and the power to give her healing.
When the man who was paralyzed came to have his body restored, Jesus made him spiritually whole through forgiveness. He confirmed the spiritual healing by also granting the physical healing. He saw the faith of this man and his friends and gave them more than they expected. (Mark 2:5, 11-12)
Miraculous physical healings seem rare, although God does sometimes grant them. He wants us to understand that God considers our eternal health to be more important than our temporary physical health in this temporary life.
Sin is like a disease or injury that results in death. We are helpless to cure ourselves. Jesus came to make us whole, to make us well.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. (John 3:16-18)God does not stop there. His teachings maintain our spiritual health. He refers to his teaching as “sound” (“hygiaino) which in Greek is related to the word (hygies) translated “well,” “cured,” “freed,” “healed,” “healing,” and “made well” in reference to physical healing and health.
If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain. (I Timothy 6:3-5)Jesus warned the invalid he had healed at the pool called Bethesda, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” (John 5:1-15)
The writer of Hebrews gave the same warning:
If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)This warning is not a contradiction of the assurance we are given by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Romans:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:1-4Jesus sets us free, makes us well, so that we are no longer enslaved to a sinful condition that leads to death.
After Paul rebukes the Corinthian church for their behavior and attitude when they came together for the Lord's Supper, he assures them:
But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world. (I Corinthians 11:31-32)Jesus rescued us from condemnation by suffering the penalty for our sins; he keeps us safe from condemnation through his teachings and his discipline. His instructions and his correction show us how to do those good works God is creating us to do. Those good works are also a part of the molding and shaping God does to make us a new creation.
In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul states:
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10)Jesus is the source of our salvation from sin and death. We honor him by obeying his teachings. He gives us spiritual health and also gives us the means to maintain that health through his Holy Spirit. Like the woman who reached out to Jesus for healing she could find nowhere else, we can reach out to Jesus to make us and keep us spiritually well and alive.
Editor's Note: The Greek word translated
“freed” in the NIV means healthy, well in body. It is translated “well”
in John 5:6, 11, 14, 14.
For the Scripture References and related Bible Study Guide, go to Bible Study Guide: Go In Peace