We thought about shame and honor last week in the incident with Jairus, the synagogue ruler. Right in the middle of that situation came a woman who had had a bleeding problem.
Jesus is already on his way to the house of Jairus, but the woman follows close behind in the middle of a packed crowd. She is sure that if she can just touch Jesus the healer, maybe she will be healed of this terrible condition that has plagued her all these years.
At last she finds an opening, reaches out, and touches the edge of his robe. Instantly, she feels something stir inside her body, something warm and healing. She feels a surge of energy that she hasn’t felt in years. As she moves back away from the crowd; her spirit soars in gratitude.
Suddenly, Jesus stops and looks around.
“Who touched me?” Luke 8:45
Peter points out that many people are all around him, pressing in to follow him, but Jesus is emphatic.
“Someone has touched me. I know that power has gone out from me.” Luke 8:46
(This is the only time that Jesus makes such a statement recorded in Scripture.)
For twelve years the woman has dealt with this bleeding problem. She has suffered weakness, separation from her family, and community shame. The law declares that no one is to touch her or anything she has touched. It is as though she’s like a leper.
No doctors have been able to help her, and she is depleted of what little resources she has had.
Her great joy in being healed turns to fear as Jesus questions who touched him. Should she slip away and hide? Should she freeze and wait for him to move on?
She decides that she must confess what she has done and falls trembling at his feet. Her story rolls out as she describes her years of agony, pain, and defeat, but the victory of Jesus’ healing.
Jesus lifts her up and says,
“Take heart daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48
Jesus has brought honor as he acknowledges the faith of this shamed woman, even as he is on his way to help a prestigious man of the community. Jesus lifted her from shame to honor. Wouldn’t we like to know the “rest of her story”?
Have you ever done something you’re ashamed of? Perhaps you were intentionally unkind or made sinful decisions. Or perhaps, like this woman, you endured an incident that was not of your own making. Or perhaps you suffered from a family relationship.
Jesus has the power to forgive, heal, and restore. He wants more than anything to find you reaching out in faith. He will take your hand and lift you from shame to honor.
“For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand, saying unto you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.'” Isaiah 41:10
Reach out to Him today.
~ Joyce ~