Thursday, April 21, 2011

What does God have to say to those who are hurting inside?

This is a continuation from my last post.

How about the hurting? The ones who have not done any great sin, but have been the victim of sin? What about the ones who faithfully serve God, without seeing any major healing with their own personal issues, and are wondering why they have struggled for so long? What about the people who are looked down on for not being talented enough, pretty enough, charming enough, or smart enough? What does Jesus say to those people???

Mark 5:24-34 tells us a different kind of story. It’s a story of a woman who was also looked down on. Instead of having a reputation for being “overtouched”, as was the case of the prostitute, she had a reputation of being “untouchable”. She was hemorrhaging. She was considered “unclean” which was a polite way of saying, “untouchable, without a cure, hopeless, isolated, cast out and worthless to society”. After 12 years of being ashamed of whom she was, spending all the money that she had looking for a cure, and continually getting worse in spite of the doctor’s efforts, she gained the courage to find Jesus in a crowd. She thought if she could just touch his clothes than she would be healed, and nobody would have to know that she touched him. Tired, but determined, she made her way through the crowd and caught up to him. She grabbed for his cloak and immediately her bleeding and suffering stopped. (vs. 29) For her to be in the crowd was actually unacceptable, and yet Jesus calls her out right in front of all her critics. “Who touched my clothes?” he asks. Afraid, she slinks back as people act like it’s no big deal and he should just move on. He is indignant. “Who touched me?” he asks again, looking around. The woman fell at his feet, scared, and trembling. She told him her story. He listened to her story. She mattered to him. In a crowd of people who wanted nothing to do with her, he put the spotlight on her, and cared about her. When she was done speaking, he cut through the chaos of the crowd and referred to her with an endearing term, “daughter”, that meant that she had a special place in his heart, and was like family to him. With one word he answered the question closest to her heart. The one that she gave up long ago, “Am I worthy that anyone would associate with me ever again?” He goes on to say, “Your faith has healed you”. This statement meant that what she had done was not only acknowledged and acceptable, but blessed and admirable. It was her courageous faith that healed her. He says this right in front of all of her critics, as a way to put her mind at ease, and to establish a new identity for her. Then, he gives her his blessing, giving her permission to be a new person, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” From this day forward she was a new person. FREEDOM. This is how Jesus sees you when you come to Him, asking for love and acceptance and healing. You are a new person. You have been healed. After years and years of anguish, He says to you, “Go in peace.” Jesus offers freedom, love, acceptance, and peace. He looks at you with unconditional love that no person on earth can offer and says to you, “Your faith has healed you.”

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