Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and suffered many things from many physicians.  She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse.  Mark 5:25-26

First let me state for the record that I believe in going to physicians.  In fact, my wife is a cancer survivor and physicians have done wonderful things for her.  So this is not anti medicine.  What this is about is how we approach the problems that we have in life.  I believe this incident can teach us some great insights.

The woman has a physical problem.  We don’t know for sure, but initially it might have been a problem that she felt might go away on its own or she tried some home remedies to cure.  Whatever, the initial attempts, if any, they fail.  The woman obvious had some resources available to her.  At this point, she does the sensible thing.  She goes to see a doctor.  Given the brief description of her plight, the doctor she goes to, attempts something to cure her.  It fails.  We don’t know how long she went back to that first doctor, but because she is no better, she does the next sensible thing and goes to get a second opinion.  And so it goes, it appears over a 12 year period, she goes to many doctors.  Perhaps there are times when she is under the care of several physicians at a time.  Historically I don’t know if there was any sort of specialization of medical care back in those days.  Unfortunately, in each case it is to no avail.  Yet she keeps trying; what else is she to do?  Maybe she hears about a new treatment, or someone in another town that was healed of aliment similar to her’s.  Again we don’t know the specifics, but we do know is; after 12 years, she is physically worse, out of money and she is desperate.

We don’t know how long she had been following Jesus.  We don’t know if she had seen miraculous cures of other people.  However, what is clear, whether she witnessed them herself or heard about them from someone else, she approached Jesus with the certainty of a cure.  Please again, don’t misunderstand me.  I am not blaming the woman for her pursuit of a cure through doctors.  I’m not blaming her for keeping with it for 12 years.  In a world view, it makes perfect sense.  Almost as much as the miracle of the cure itself, I find there an additional miracle in her faith, after everything else had let her down; that she felt sure that all she had to do was touch Jesus’ clothes.  Also, don’t miss out on her humility.  She was not one to wail out about her troubles and make a spectacle of her healing.  In fact she might have even been scared, that since she snuck up on Jesus to touch Him, he might be mad about the impromptu healing.  So she fades back into the crowd.

Jesus stops.  He knows that he has healed someone, but it is not the physical healing that is the most important part, if it had been Jesus would have kept walking.  For after all he was going on an urgent mission to save a dying little girl.  Why did He call out to see whom it was that He had healed?  Was it a Madison Avenue marketing ploy, that He needed to show how great He was to the crowd?  No, because when the lady did come forward He didn’t shout to all:  “Look here see what I, the great, have done!”  He was determined that she understood, that it was so much more than the physical touch of her hand to His clothes that healed her.  He needed to let her know, and the rest of us vicariously, that it was the faith that led her to reach out and touch His clothes that made all the difference in the world.  That same faith that can and should be used over and over again, no matter what the circumstances.  For the woman to know: “Daughter, your faith has made you well.  Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”  He was not mad at her touching Him.  He was impressed, and she needed to know that.

Jesus Christ knows that this world brings us struggles.  He told us it would.  I believe he sighs and sadly shakes His head as he watches us attempt to overcome those struggles again and again without Him.  He longs for us to come humbly to Him, knowing in our hearts, if I can only get close enough to………………………..  Because Jesus knows His response, each and every time would be, Daughter/Son, your faith has made you well (successful, wise, fruitful, whatever word you want to add in there).  Go in peace.

So, yes it is fine to go to a doctor, a counselor, a lawyer, a mechanic, a teacher, a whoever.  But let us all go to Jesus Christ or our Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ first with the full certainty, that our faith will not be in vain.  In our Father’s perfect plan, He will use others to help us out.  He just doesn’t want us to feel that any others are a substitute.  May all praise and adoration be given to He who truly deserves it; through the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Amen

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