Revive Our Hearts Podcast

His Healing Touch, Part 1

Leslie Basham: Even if you've experienced pain or hurt for years, Jesus can bring healing. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss for Monday, March 4.

The deepest issues in our lives--our heartache, our fears, our sins--aren't always easily apparent to others. God, however, sees past our outward appearance and looks right into our hearts. Today Nancy will tell us about a woman who was desperately in need, and we'll find out what happened when she reached out to Christ. Here's Nancy.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: I get a lot of letters from women sharing with me some of the issues and struggles that they're dealing with in their lives. One of the things I find particularly sad is when women talk about an issue that they've been wrestling with for years and years without seeming to get any help or any relief.

These are some of the kinds of things that women have said to me along this line. One woman wrote and said, "I am depressed and suicidal and pray constantly for relief. I believe in God and that He answers prayers, but I've been waiting for years."

Another lady said, "My marriage is breaking up. It's been an unloving, unnurturing marriage for over 12 years. My heart is broken and I'm spent."

In a different life circumstance, this woman said, "My heart died four years ago when I buried my daughter. Pray that God will heal me so that I can open up my heart to my husband and my three other daughters."

As I read those statements, does something come to your mind? Something you've wrestled with, struggled with--and not just for a week or two, not just a month or two, but for years? Some internal issue? Some sin issue? Some area of conflict or bondage or a relationship that's been a troubled one? It's been years and years that you've been dealing with this issue.

I want us to look over the next several days at a woman in the Scriptures who understood what it was like to have to struggle with a difficult issue for many years. If you have your Bible, we're in Mark 5. I'm going to begin reading in verse 21 to give us a little bit of a context for this woman's situation.

Mark 5:21: "Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him and He was by the sea." So we see here there is a great multitude of people pressing in on Jesus. Not only is there a big crowd, a great multitude, but there is a great man in that crowd. There is the V.I.P.

Verse 22 tells us, "Behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name." Jairus was an important man. He was perhaps a man of wealth. He had a position. He was respected. I can just imagine perhaps that when he walked into that crowd that the crowd kind of parted to make room for Jairus. Maybe he had his entourage of people who were his assistants. He was looked up to and respected. He was in the crowd this day. So we have a great multitude and a great person who is in that great multitude.

Verse 22 tells us that when Jairus saw Jesus, he fell at His feet. We have a great emergency. Verse 23 tells us that Jairus begged Jesus earnestly, saying, "'My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her that she may be healed and she will live.' So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed him and thronged him." That word thronged gives the sense of pressing in on Jesus. It's as if He hardly has room to breathe. You just see this great crowd. They pressed in on Him.

In the midst of this great crowd with this great personality of Jairus, who has a great need and a great emergency, verse 25 tells us, "Now there was a certain woman." A certain woman. We're not told her name. We just know that she was a woman who had a need that was very personal to her. It was great to her, but a need that she could probably not expect anyone else to care about. A certain woman.

She is in contrast to Jairus. He is a big man, the big name with the big position. And it's understandable that Jesus would care about helping out Jairus. But here is--a woman. Now today that wouldn't be such an insult, but in those days to be a woman was to be a second-class citizen or to be considered as a second-class citizen by other people. Here is a great man and here is just a woman. But she's a certain woman.

The fact is that God knows that woman's name, even though we don't. She considered herself insignificant, as we'll see in the passage. She's just one woman. And not only is she just a woman, but she is a social reject. She's the kind of person that crowds don't open up for. In fact--the kind of person who can kind of get trampled and lost in a crowd. She is the woman who is the reject--the person that perhaps others may have no interest in helping. She has been rejected and cut off from her society because of a physical ailment.

The passage goes on to tell us that this woman had had a flow of blood for twelve years. For twelve long years, she has had an issue that has been a major issue in her life. It's a physical problem, but it has created many other problems for her. It's interesting that she had been dying for twelve years, which was exactly the same length of time that Jairus' daughter had been living. I think that this whole interruption here, which Jairus could have seen as a major distraction, really is going to be a challenge to Jairus' faith--to see that if Jesus can help this woman who has had this major issue for twelve years, then Jesus can also help his daughter who, at twelve years of age, is dying at home.

This woman, the Scripture says, had a flow of blood. We don't know exactly what the problem was, but we know that it was an internal problem. It was something that would probably not have been immediately apparent to people who didn't know her. However, this internal problem had huge ramifications in this woman's life. In the Old Testament, a blood disease or a blood disorder is a picture of sin--an internal issue that creates huge problems and has massive ramifications for every area of life.

We know from the Scripture that sin contaminates. It defiles us. It separates us from God and even breaks our fellowship with others. In the Old Testament, to give a picture of the contaminating, defiling, separating nature of sin, God established some laws for the Jews to help them have a picture of what sin does.

In Leviticus 15, we're given some regulations that the Jews had to abide by. They were told that if a woman had a blood disorder, if she had a blood disease of the nature of what this woman had, that she was ceremonially unclean. That meant that for the duration of her disorder that she was to be separated from her family. She would be shunned even by those who knew and loved her. She would be excluded from the synagogue or the temple. She couldn't worship in the public place. She'd be cut off from normal, social relationships. This was a social and religious isolation.

I think God wanted us to see by this Old Testament picture and regulation that sin cuts us off. It breaks fellowship with God. It puts up barriers even in our relationships with other people. Anything that this woman touched would also become ceremonially unclean. Anything that touched her or that touched someone that she touched or something that she touched would be ceremonially unclean. So you see, this is a picture of how sin defiles--how it contaminates. This woman was a living dead person. She had an incurable illness, and her life is a picture of the consequences of sin.

I think probably this woman was embarrassed by her problem. My suspicion is that she wanted to hide herself and to go around and not let other people really see inside of her. Twelve years is a long time to live cut off from relationships and fellowship and love and physical contact. Anybody who touched her would be defiled, contaminated. So here is a woman who has lived without touch, without love, without communication, without relationship, without fellowship.

As I look at this woman, I see such a picture of many women that I know, women that you know, some women in this room. They are carrying internal baggage; (they have been) maybe for years. I can't tell by looking at you what it is that is going on inside of you. I'm amazed at how many people--I heard a woman give a testimony recently in my church who I think of as the most joyful, happily married woman. She stood up and gave a testimony with her husband. God had been dealing in both of their lives. She told how for years she had felt that her husband did not love her. She had been bitter and resentful and angry. We were shocked. I mean, this is a couple we know and love. No one knows, except God, what is going on inside your heart, inside mine, that may be of this nature.

For some of us, it may be wounds that have resulted in bitterness, anger, hatred, depression, shame, guilt. I daresay there are probably one or more in this room--it's not any great big gaping wound, but it's just because of hurt--you've shut yourself off from God and others. And (you) are going through the motions of living this robot Christian life, doing the right things, saying the right things, going the right places, just going through the motions--no real life. You're a living dead person.

It's easy to feel, after all these years, that this disease is incurable. In fact, it may be. We're going to see that when this woman gets to Jesus that she experiences a miracle.

Leslie Basham: That's Nancy DeMoss mentioning some of the issues that seem to keep women in bondage. As she just said, we'll hear this week about the hope and freedom Jesus can provide. Today's program is the first in a series called His Healing Touch. If you know someone facing an issue that they just can't seem to be free from, why don't you order them a copy? This series comes on two cassettes for a suggested donation of $8. Just give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. When you call, ask about our free newsletter. It'll keep you informed on upcoming broadcasts. You can also find information on our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com.

We hear from listeners all the time about the encouragement Nancy's teaching brings. If this program has become a meaningful part of your day, would you consider making a financial donation to this ministry? We rely on the support of our listeners to help us continue providing solid biblical teaching on issues that affect women. You can send your donation to Revive Our Hearts.

Well, you've searched high and low for a solution to your problem but find yourself staring blankly at a dead end. If that describes you, hold on. There is one option that will never fail. Find out what it is on tomorrow's broadcast. Now here is Nancy with a final thought.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: If I say to you today that regardless of what you may be experiencing inside that hurts so deeply, that has lasted so long, if you need a miracle, then you need to hear this woman's story. We're going to pick up with her story tomorrow. But could I just say that there is hope? This woman is going to experience a transformation. Her life will never be the same again once she gets to Jesus. Your life will never be the same again once you get to Jesus.

 

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.