“Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, ‘If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.’
“Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’
“But His disciples said to Him, ‘You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, “Who touched Me?” ’
“And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.’ ”
I love this story. Here is a woman who has struggled for years with a medical condition that she is unable to overcome. She has seen doctor after doctor and none of them have been able to help her. She has spent every last dime in an effort to learn of a diagnosis and treatment. But now, the disease is advancing, and she is exhausted, discouraged, and alone. Then she hears of Jesus, who has healed the sick, made the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and the crippled to walk. Is it possible that He could help her as well? She has tried everything else. She has put her faith in men who have continually failed her. Now she feels that this Master Healer is her last chance and she chooses to seek Him out.
She leaves her home determined to meet with Him, but as she nears the road where He will pass by, she finds a large multitude of people. How will she reach Him? As the crowd advances down the road, she can just see Him in its midst. She attempts to push her way through. Afraid that He will pass by before she can speak to Him, she decides that if she can just touch His garment, that surely she will be healed. She is so near now, and with a Herculean effort, she reaches through the jostling crowd and in earnest faith, barely touches the bottom of His robe. Instantly, she experiences a revitalizing of her body and at the same time she hears, “Who touched Me?”
Before we continue with this story, let’s make a comparison. For years this woman has suffered with a condition over which, alone, she has no control. She is unable to cure herself, nor is she able to stop the progression of the disease. She has sought help from every direction, but has not found it.
Now let’s think of ourselves in terms of sin—a condition over which, alone, we have no control. We are unable to cure ourselves of it nor can we change our selfish nature, which is the reason we sin. We have tried and tried, but have failed. Like this woman, there remains only one solution.
The root cause of her illness had to be cured so that the issue of blood could be stopped. Our nature must be changed so that our compulsion to sin can be opposed. All the medical knowledge and all the money in the world were unable to heal this woman. Nothing this world can offer, not even our own supreme effort, can change our nature.
This is a story about faith. The kind of faith that when we realize this world can do nothing for us, we have but to reach out and touch the One with the power to save.
“Remember that in every time of trouble Jesus is near you, seeking to impress His image upon you. He is trying to help you to carry the cross. He is close beside you, seeking to lead you to see how sorry He is that you make mistakes. He is always ready to clasp the hand stretched out for aid.” The Review and Herald, June 20, 1907
But now let’s look at the best part of this story. This isn’t fully explained in the Bible, but the Spirit of Prophecy records this story in more detail.
“Jesus knew all about her desire, and her faith in Him, and as He was on His way to heal the ruler’s daughter, He passed by the place where this poor woman was, going out of His way that she might have a chance to act out her faith.” Ibid., March 1, 1892
Jesus prepared the opportunity for this woman to seek Him and to find Him. When you read the story in the Bible, it seems like Jesus just happened to be passing that way and she took the opportunity to go and chance a meeting. But our loving, omnipotent God arranged to meet this woman, so that when she exercised her faith in His ability to heal her, she would be healed.
“Then Jesus turned, and said, ‘Who touched me?’ His disciples were astonished that He should ask such a question, and Peter spoke up in surprise, saying, ‘Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?’ And Jesus said, ‘Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before Him, she declared unto Him before all the people for what cause she had touched Him, and how she was healed immediately.’ She told Him the whole story; and did Jesus rebuke her? Did He turn coldly from her?—No, He comforted her. He said, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.’ ” Ibid.
“The touch of living faith brings virtue from Christ to the soul; but without this faith we are like the multitude that thronged the Saviour and yet felt nothing of His saving power, because they did not bring themselves in close connection with Christ.
“We must realize our need of Christ, believe in His power to supply our wants, and then come unto Him. Our love is to be quickened by the love He has given us.” The Signs of the Times, June 8, 1891
Jesus is seeking to heal us from the spiritual disease of sin. He goes out of His way to offer opportunity for us to come to Him. Jesus is always there, waiting. No matter how long we spend looking to the world for the healing it cannot provide or relying on our own efforts and works, Jesus is still there waiting for us to realize that this world is, as Solomon described it, vanity.
“Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. What profit has a man from all his labor in which he toils under the sun? … The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.
“And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; … I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. What is crooked cannot be made straight, and what is lacking cannot be numbered. …
“ ‘I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.’ And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow. …
“So I became great … . Also my wisdom remained with me. Whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart rejoiced in all my labor; and this was my reward from all my labor.
“Then I looked on all the works that my hands had done and on the labor in which I had toiled; and indeed all was vanity and grasping for the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:2, last part, 3, 8, last part, 13, first part, 14–18; 2:9–11
“Christ met one poor soul who had spent all her living in order that she might be cured of a physical malady. … But one touch of Christ by faith took away the infirmity of long years. …
“Christ desired to give a lesson that all present would never forget. He would show the difference between the touch of living faith and a casual touch. …
“Why do we not come to Jesus in faith? Many give Him a casual touch, coming in contact only with His person. The woman did more than this. She put forth her hand in faith and was healed instantly.” Christ Triumphant, 239
“So in spiritual things does the casual contact differ from the touch of faith. To believe in Christ merely as the Saviour of the world can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere assent to the truth of the gospel. True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour.
“Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which, through the grace of Christ, the soul becomes a conquering power.” The Ministry of Healing, 62
Are you tired, sick of sin and the continued affect it has had on your soul? Have you turned to the Master Healer with outstretched hand, in faith knowing that He will help you? Simply believing isn’t enough. As we struggle with our selfish, sinful nature and the effect of the sins we have cultivated throughout our lives, we should not focus on the despair and ruin they have wrought, but instead turn our eyes to Jesus. It is only by embracing Him as our personal Saviour that we can ever hope to acquire the strength sufficient, by His grace, to overcome sin in our lives.
“ ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.’ ” John 14:23
“While we trust in Christ’s saving power, all the arts and wiles of the fallen host can do nothing to harm us. … Let us believe that God means just what He says.
“There is a possibility of the believer in Christ obtaining an experience that will be wholly sufficient to place him in right relation to God. Every promise that is in God’s book holds out to us the encouragement that we may be partakers of the divine nature. This is the possibility—to rely upon God, to believe His word, to work His works; and this we can do when we lay hold of the divinity of Christ.
“This possibility is worth more to us than all the riches in the world. There is nothing on earth that can compare with it. As we lay hold of the power thus placed within our reach, we receive a hope so strong that we can rely wholly upon God’s promises; and laying hold of the possibilities there are in Christ, we become the sons and daughters of God.” In Heavenly Places, 32
“[T]he Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which is lost.” Luke 19:10. Claim this promise. He is seeking to save each of us.
Judy Rebarchek is a member of the LandMarks team. She may be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org