Interrupted By Faith: Mark 5:24-34

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As we continue forward through the gospels looking at the miracles Jesus did to help people, we come to a set of miracles that are both completely unrelated, but also connected. During this episode and the next one, we will look at these two miracles. About the only reason these two miracles are connected is because of their proximity to one another. Other than this, these miracles are about as opposite of each other as we could find. About the only thing that connects these two miracles is the simple detail that Jesus does one miracle while on the way to do the other.

For this reason, I debated which miracle to focus on first. While the event and verses surrounding the miracle that happened second begin first, I ultimately decided to focus on the miracle that happened first. The first miracle to happen would otherwise be unknown if it weren’t for Jesus treating this miracle as a necessary interruption while on His way to help with the other situation in need.

Let’s read what happened. Our passage is found in the gospel of Mark, chapter 5, and we will be reading from the New Century Version. Jumping into this event in the second part of verse 24, Mark tells us that:

24b A large crowd followed Jesus and pushed very close around him. 25 Among them was a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered very much from many doctors and had spent all the money she had, but instead of improving, she was getting worse. 27 When the woman heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his coat. 28 She thought, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Instantly her bleeding stopped, and she felt in her body that she was healed from her disease.

30 At once Jesus felt power go out from him. So he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

31 His followers said, “Look at how many people are pushing against you! And you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

32 But Jesus continued looking around to see who had touched him. 33 The woman, knowing that she was healed, came and fell at Jesus’ feet. Shaking with fear, she told him the whole truth. 34 Jesus said to her, “Dear woman, you are made well because you believed. Go in peace; be healed of your disease.”

In this miracle, we discover something amazing as we see what Jesus does here. While almost everyone present in this event is clueless to the thought that a miracle has actually occurred, and while this woman would rather remain anonymous, Jesus insists on shining the spotlight on this situation. If Jesus had ignored the sense that power had gone from Him, or if He had simply honored the woman’s desire to remain secret, we would never have this amazing example of faith.

When reading this passage, we discover that Jesus knew very well what was happening around Him, and we discover through the story of this woman that she had tried everything else she could think of before placing her hope, faith, and belief in Jesus. When the medicine of that era had failed her, this woman knew that Jesus could help.

In an interesting way, this woman’s desire to remain anonymous actually puts more emphasis on this miracle than if she had looked for a more normal opportunity to ask for healing. If this woman had come for help along with a crowd of others during one of the events when Jesus was teaching, preaching, and healing, we might also never know her story. If this woman had looked for a miracle in any other way, we might never know she was healed.

Through this woman’s healing, we discover that faith in Jesus doesn’t need to be extraordinary for it to result in a miracle. Instead, this woman’s faith in Jesus could be described as a persistent, determined faith. Granted, maybe in today’s culture and world, a persistent, determined faith actually is extraordinary when we look out at the culture of the Christian church. Unfortunately, we don’t see extraordinary levels of faith from people sitting in pews, or even from most of those standing up front, like we might have in previous years. When the church faced struggles and trials, faith was clearly present, but when the church gains status and comfort, the faith of Christian believers suffers.

This woman’s faith was so persistent and determined that she pushed through the crowd of people who were pushing to be near Jesus while Jesus was hurrying as best He could to help someone else who needed help. She had determined that all she needed to do to know whether Jesus could help her is for her to simply touch the edge of His robe. At this point in Jesus’ ministry, the crowds likely were well aware that any illness, defect, deformity, or even death could not diminish Jesus’ power from God for healing and helping others. The woman, knowing all of this, knew Jesus was well able to heal people of significantly worse diseases than she faced, and because of this, she knew that simply touching Jesus in the least significant way would be just enough to significantly improve her situation.

It is this faith that Jesus wanted to showcase, and the only way He can do this is if He stops everything and everyone to bring this miracle into the open. While the clock is ticking and the situation Jesus was on His way to help was growing more bleak by the minute, Jesus is more interested in focusing on the example that this woman can give all of us regarding faith in Jesus.

When seeing how persistent Jesus was on bringing this woman’s story to the spotlight, we discover that Jesus was just as persistent as this woman was at pushing her way through the crowd. Jesus focused on bringing this woman’s story to the spotlight because in this story, we discover a faith that God wants us to model in our own lives. While it is easy for us to live as lukewarm Christians with little to no faith in today’s world, God warns us that living without faith is significantly worse than we might realize.

Like the first disciples and the early church learned through this miracle, God is looking for a people who are determined, persistent, and won’t back down when their faith is challenged. God is looking for His people, living today, to be persistent, passionate, and determined to live our lives with a faith that will not be shaken by anything that comes our way. We are called to live with a faith that leads us into eternity.

As we come to the end of another podcast episode, here are the challenges I will leave you with:

Always seek God first and intentionally place your faith, hope, trust, and belief in Him. Choose to follow and obey God regardless of what the world, or even tradition, teaches. Choose to place your faith in Jesus and in what the Bible has revealed to us from His word.

To learn and know what this is, always pray and study the Bible for yourself and filter everything you learn through the truth the Bible teaches. While a speaker, pastor, author, blogger, or podcaster can give you ideas you can think about, only trust it if it aligns with the truth the Bible teaches. God plans to keep us safe through eternity, and this means that He is more than capable of keeping His truth alive in the Bible through a few thousand years.

And as I end every set of challenges by saying in one way or another, never stop short of, back away from, chicken out of, or abandon where God wants to lead you to in your life with Him!

Year of Miracles – Episode 20: While going to help someone, Jesus is interrupted by the sense that power had gone out from Him. If you do not know what happened, or even if you do, discover how this almost unknown event shapes how God wants His people to live their lives of faith in Him.

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