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Friday, July 23, 2010

The Woman Jesus Called Daughter, Part 2, Healed and Saved

Today is the conclusion of my sister, Shannon's, devotional on the woman Jesus called "daughter."  If you've been following along, these articles are guest posts on Savvy Sheep, and are taken from two notes she shared on facebook which she gave permission to be reprinted here.  For those of you just joining us, you might want to go read part 1, which I shared earlier this week.  If you've got any questions or comments to share, leave them in the comments section and I can pass them on if you wish.  I'll be resuming the regular posting schedule next week.  Without further ado...

Healed and Saved

    A large crowd followed and pressed around him [Jesus].  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years.  She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
    At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?"
 "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?' "
  But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it.  Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth.  He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." --  Mark 5: 24-34 NIV
This note is part 2 of what God is showing me about this passage.  I’ve repeated the story here (Mark’s telling rather than Luke’s this time) to get us into the right frame of mind.  Read Part 1 first, because I’m continuing from where I left off!


“In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed” (Luke 8: 48 NIV).  

Wait a minute—this woman just went from hiding in corners and crawling in dirty streets to boldly addressing a crowd?!   In Jewish culture at the time, women usually weren’t permitted to speak in this way, and certainly not a woman in her circumstances.   How could such a change happen so quickly?   And she told not only that she had been healed but also what she had been healed from.   Her sickness held no shame anymore because it had been transformed into a display of God’s glory.   My sins and my old ways are a story I’ll gladly tell so that the difference He has made in me is clear.


“He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering,” (Mark 5: 34 NIV).

Notice that Jesus didn’t tell her to wait seven days, bring a sacrifice to the temple, and have the priest make atonement for her (Leviticus 15: 28-30).  Perhaps she did anyway, and we’ll never know until we meet her in heaven.  But maybe He omitted this to show His authority as the Messiah (Luke 5:24) to heal and to save completely.  And maybe He was pointing out that He would soon make atonement for her on the cross. According to the margin notes of my study Bible, the Greek word translated here as healed actually means saved.  Hallelujah!  Because of His sacrifice He is now our “high priest forever in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:19-- Hebrews 7:28), with the power to declare her—and all who come to Him—cleansed and free not just physically but also spiritually!


Although I’ve heard this story many times, as I read it anew the word stood out to me.  What a term to use for someone who was unclean, who had no right to be there, who was penniless and broken!  Her circumstances were such that her biological family would probably have denied knowing her.  But Jesus called her daughter, perfectly willing to bear the shame of the association.  As the Sanctus Real song on the radio goes, "There is no one too lost for Him to love/ No one too low for Him to serve."
From Weed to Rose
Printed in the margin of my study Bible is the fact that this woman was the only person in the four Gospels whom Jesus addressed as daughter.

Why her?  Why not someone respectable, someone who didn’t need much “fixing up” when she came to know Him?  If you’re acquainted with my Savior, you should know that He loves to turn the misfits into miracles.  She is an example for all of us that we can never fall too far for Him to catch us, and that our failings are no obstacle to His strength.  "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)!

It was the night before Father’s Day when I rediscovered this passage.  Maybe you have a great relationship with your dad like I do, or maybe things aren’t going so well.  Maybe you never even knew him.  Isn’t it comforting to know that you have a heavenly Father too, who is never ashamed to call you His child, and who will never let you down?  “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1 NIV).


I can’t help but realize how much my story resembles hers.  Like my sister in this passage and in the kingdom, I came to Jesus not just bleeding but dead in my sins.  My soul, not just my hand, was unclean before Him (Isaiah 64: 6).  I put my faith in Christ as the Messiah, my Redeemer, who saved and healed me.  And although my past gives me so much to be ashamed of, I’m willing to stand center stage so that the whole world will know what His power has done in me.

Are you tired of carrying wounds that won’t heal?  Have you tried everything in your own power to feel better?  How long will you wait?  She waited twelve years for a Healer to come.  But now He is come—He’s knocking at the door of your heart and you don’t have to wait another minute.  Maybe you feel as if you’ve messed up so badly you aren’t worthy to speak to Him.  Guess what?  That isn’t possible.  He’s always willing to receive you.  Come to Him, broken as you are.  He is longing to say, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” (Mark 5: 34 NIV).
If you want to receive Christ as your personal Savior, read how at the end of this post.