More than a Fringe of Faith

Mark 5:25:34

Timmy didn’t want to put his money in the offering
plate Sunday morning, so his mother decided to
use some hurried creative reasoning with him.

“You don’t want that money, honey,” she
whispered in his ear. “Quick! Drop it in the plate.
It’s tainted!”

Horrified, the little boy obeyed.

After a few seconds he whispered, “But, mommy,
why was the money tainted? Was it dirty?

“Oh, no dear,” she replied. “It’s not really dirty. It
just ‘taint yours, and it ‘taint mine,” she replied.
“It’s God’s.”

Last week we examined the far reaching faith of a
Centurion.
Today we are going to see the faith of an unclean woman
who touches just the fringe of Jesus’ frock.

This miracle is interesting because it is a miracle
embedded in another miracle,
but today we will just look at the miracle of Jesus healing
the woman who touched His robe.

It’s found in Mark 5:25-34

Let’s talk about this woman who had been suffering from
a hemorrhage for 12 years.

Physical Suffering

According to Leviticus 15 a woman who was
hemorrhaging was considered unclean. Not only that, but anyone she touched or who touched her would also be unclean, not to mention anything she sat on would be unclean.

She was an outcast.
She was also likely experiencing physical pain and
exhaustion.
I can tell you firsthand because of my blood
disorder, that when things are not in order I don’t
feel quite right. It’s noticeable.

Mark also mentions that she endured much at the hands of many doctors.

She went from doctor to doctor trying a myriad of
different procedures.
She was desperate, willing to do anything to be free from
the constant bleeding.

The Talmud proposes eleven different remedies,
including drinking a goblet of wine containing a
powder made from rubber, alum, and garden
crocuses. Another potion was made from Persian
onions cooked in wine (Alfred Edersheim, The Life and
Times of Jesus the Messiah [Eerdmans], 1:620)
But none of them worked, she still suffered physically
Not only that, she also endured

Financial Suffering

Those remedies aren’t free.
The Scripture tells us she spent all that she had
There was no more money for another co-pay.
No flexible spending account.
No out of pocket maximum.
She spent all she had!
As if the physical and financial were not enough
She also endured.

Spiritual Suffering

Even though the Bible doesn’t come right out and say it,
I believe that this woman was suffering spiritually. She
was at the end of her rope; she may have had very little
hope.

She was not only ostracized from her friends and family
due to her issue of blood, she wouldn’t have been able to
worship either.

Some commentators believe she was suffering due to sin
in her life. That may be the case, but one thing we do
know is that she sought Jesus out and went to where He
was because she believed that He had the power to cure
her of her ailment.

Notice the Scripture tells us that she heard about Jesus
V.21 tells us that a large crowd had gathered around Him
while He was by the sea.
She had apparently heard about His power to heal the
blind and cure the lame and cast out demons.

So she approached Jesus.
Remember that she was an outcast.
Anyone she touched would be unclean and she definitely
wouldn’t be allowed to speak to Jesus.

Faith to Touch the Fringe

So, she touches the hem of His garment.
We might think this strange, but in this day there was a
superstition that a person’s power extended to their
clothing and some even thought to one’s shadow.

The amazing thing is that it worked!
She knew immediately that she had been healed.
She sensed in her body that her affliction had been cured.

Now, if this was the end of this story the woman may
have gone the rest of her life thinking that Jesus’ robe
cured her of her disease.
But that isn’t the case and Jesus made it a point to find
her and explain to her what had just happened.

Jesus immediately sensed that power had gone from Him
He asked who touched Him.
The disciples respond to Jesus wondering how He can
possibly know who touched Him when there is a large
crowd of people around Him.

But Jesus DID know and He wanted the culprit to come
forward.
But not for the reason you might think.
It may seem that He would rebuke the woman for
touching Him, especially since she was unclean.
But that was not what He had in mind.

He wanted to tell her some incredible news.

The Scripture doesn’t make us wonder how she felt
It says she came with fear and trembling and
fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

Jesus wanted this woman to know that it was her faith,
Not Superstition that had healed her.

Healed by Faith

“Augustine long ago said of this story, ‘Flesh
presses, faith touches.’ … He can always
distinguish between the jostle of a curious mob,
and the agonized touch of a needy soul.”

She may have come to Jesus with the wrong motivation,
but she came to the right person to be saved.

Yes, she was healed, but she was more than healed.
The Greek word translated healed here is the same word
for saved.
It’s no coincidence that the Bible uses that particular
word here.
Jesus healed all of her maladies: physical, financial and
spiritual.
No more doctors.
No more expensive tests.
No more doubt.

Jesus had healed her completely!

Jesus told her that her faith has made her well
Not superstition, not a witch doctor, her faith.
Faith is the assurance of things hoped for the conviction
of things not seen.
Finally, Jesus told her to go in peace because she was
free from her affliction.
Peace is a Jewish term that means more than just the
absence of violence. It means being complete in Christ.
She was finally at peace both physically and spiritually.

Something that stood out to me as I studied the text was
in v.33.

The woman put her faith into action in 3 ways.
She knew what happened and this is how she responded

She Came to Jesus – she had nowhere else to go.
Nothing else worked. She was stuck in her eternal state
of suffering. She came to the only One who had the
power to heal her. Jesus knew she had used His power so
she couldn’t just hide in the background.

She Fell at Jesus’ Feet – this is a display of awe and
reverence. She understood that Jesus had the power to
heal her. She didn’t deserve to be healed, so she bowed
at His feet to show her thankfulness towards Him.

She Confessed to Jesus – She knew she had broken
the law by approaching Jesus and touching His garment.
She confessed everything she had done and Jesus
showed her mercy!

However misguided this woman was, Jesus saw her faith.
He understood her heart.

He also knows our heart.

Steven Cole writes about 5 principles to lay hold of Jesus
by Faith.

  1. Faith is active, not passive.
  2. Faith works best when human solutions fail.
  3. Faith accepts the simplicity of the gospel.
  4. Faith need not be perfect to be effective.
  5. Faith must be confessed.

Remember, we are saved by grace through faith, not by
works so that no man can boast.

Jesus completed the work on the cross
we have to believe in Him and
receive God’s mercy and grace.