Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Thy Compassions They Fail Not

One of the loveliest stories in the New Testament is the story of the compassion Jesus showed the woman with the issue of blood.  Those who do not understand Christianity often denigrate it based on a misconception about the status of women within the faith. During the days of the Lord's presence on Earth, women in the Mediterranean were not treated well at all. They undoubtedly enjoyed a better quality of life and higher status among the Hebrews than with the Romans or Greeks.  Our Lord understood the unique difficulties, trials and weaknesses of women: the dear woman at the well, His close friends Mary and Martha, Mary Magdalene, and His own dear mother, Mary. Each of these women had a testimony of His love and sensitivity.  Mark tells us of the woman who had endured "an issue of blood" for twelve years. He goes on to say that she had "suffered many things of many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse."  John Mark was a bit more wordy in his description of this woman's ordeal than was his usual style. He goes on to relate to us what she did in her desperation and faith:

When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind and touched His garment.  For she said, If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole.  ANd straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.

Jesus was there at that moment and place for her; He knew she needed Him, and He knew that she believed in His ability to help her when no one else could. He turned around and declared, Daughter, thy faith hath thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.  

Notice Christian sister, He did not make more of this miracle than these words He spoke. He did not embarrass her by saying to everyone what He had cured for her.  He understood that this "plague" rendered her "unclean" in her culture. Again, I want to point out that I believe He had a divine appointment with her--she didn't just happen to be near. He came near to her.  He comes near to us as well, and wants us to touch His garment--to reach out in faith. If you have the time, read through Mark's account of this story in Mark 5: 25-34.

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