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February 26th: Bleeding

Today we get to read another devotional from Taryn Flake. She is more of an expert than I on today's scripture. We all need healed from something. The picture to go with this comes from my Holy Land trip. In the town of Magadala, where Mary Magdalene was from, is a synagogue that dates back to the time of Jesus. Was Jesus there? It doesn't come up in scripture but it is near everywhere else that Jesus was. The floor is from Jesus' time. The artwork in this room is new and portrays today's scripture. In hindsight I should have bought a print of this artwork because it is so powerful.



Scripture: Mark 5:21-43


Bleeding

Okay, we are going to talk about an uncomfortable subject…bleeding…of the womanly variety. And I know that the guys out there have been in families with sisters, wives, mothers, or friends who have had to deal with bleeding. So even though this issue only affects about 50% of us at one point in our lives, I hope that you can relate to this story via proximity, if not personally. If you would like to read more today, feel free to check out Matthew 9:20-22 and Luke 8:43-48.


First, I want to note that the woman subject to bleeding interrupted Jesus. This does not phase Jesus one bit. He was not in a hurry. Jesus was on His way to heal Jairus’ daughter. Even at the disciples’ insistence that there is no way He could know who touched Him, Jesus still seeks the woman out. He seeks to be interrupted.


Second, can you imagine bleeding for twelve years straight? Not only would this be an inconvenience to deal with during Biblical times without modern conveniences, but this woman would have been considered unclean. She would have not been able to be a part of society or even to attend worship services. She wouldn’t be able to prepare a meal for her family, sit in the same chairs, or be touched by anyone for twelve years. I’ve always pictured this woman as an older woman, bent over in pain, unable to shake a constant menstruation when many surrounding her were going through menopause. However, I wonder if she was a young woman, perhaps bleeding constantly after giving birth and not being able to produce another child again. Or maybe, she was completely barren for twelve years. We sympathize with this woman, whatever her age.


Third, she has incredible faith. She knows that she just has to reach out and touch Jesus’ cloak. Still Jesus notices. In both Mark and Luke, Jesus has to ask twice who touched Him before the woman comes forward. In Luke 8:46, Jesus says, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” The woman is trembling as she comes forward, thinking she is in trouble somehow. But she knows that she was instantly healed. Instantly! What a miracle! On one hand, we see the woman’s “before” story of being publically unclean and cast away. This is contrasted with the “after” story of publicly sharing the miracle of what happened, and declaring her clean and healed in front of all. Jesus restores this woman back into society.


Many of us will not have this identical situation in our own lives, so what can we learn from this Scripture? I think we learn from Jesus that interruptions are okay. Those of us who are more Type A are going to struggle with trying to be a little more Type B, but going with the flow is often where ministry can happen. I think we can also learn from the woman that nothing is too big for God to heal. She had spent her entire savings, visiting many doctors, only to turn up with no cure. She turns to Jesus and is instantly healed. Maybe you don’t have a physical ailment; maybe you have an emotional ailment. Instead of searching all around the world for solutions or cures to your ailment, turn instead to Jesus. I believe that doctors and counselors and pastors and friends can be the embodiment of Jesus and help us along our journey. Perhaps when we surrender our issue to Him, He will guide us where to get relief from our ailment.


Questions:

  1. How often do we seek to be interrupted? How often are we unbothered by interruptions?

  2. Have you been afflicted with a physical, emotional, or spiritual ailment that has made you feel like an outcast from society? Have you surrendered that to God today?


Prayer:

Dear God, Please help me not to be afraid of interruptions. Please help me with whatever ailments I have. I surrender those to You right now. I know that You will guide me towards healing, using whatever resources I have available to me at this time. Thank You for doctors, counselors, pastors, and friends who have helped me through difficult times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


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