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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Sermon - A Transforming Touch

Mark 5:21-43

Pastor Shim Habte
Methodist Church
Willows, CA
530-934-3190

"What is to give light must endure burning." ~ Viktor E. Frankl

Different people handle suffering in different ways. The woman in the scripture today had suffered for twelve years with bleeding that wouldn't stop. She had spent all her money on physicians, probably trying every cure they suggested. Jewish law deemed a woman in her menses unclean, so she also endured being an outcast for twelve years. And bleeding for so long would weaken her.

Someone told her about Jesus. You've probably done the same thing--recommended a company or a physician or whatever to someone with a need. Here, finally, was someone who could heal her.

The trouble was, she was forbidden to approach any person--she was unclean. She could be imprisoned by temple guards. Still, she must have been determined. She had to take this chance.

A long time ago, a king decided to test his subjects. He employed some strong men to roll a huge boulder into the middle of a road into town. He had placed a sack beneath the rock. He stayed in the trees close to the rock. People saw the obstruction in the way and complained about what a hardship and inconvenience it was.

Finally one man who saw the boulder did something about it. He put his shoulder to the rock, and with great effort and determination he was able to push it aside. He picked up the sack and found gold inside it. Also inside, he found a note that the gold was the property of the finder.

The king knew the reward should go to the one who made the effort.

This woman in Mark 5 decided all she really had to do is touch the hem of his garment. No one would notice, and just touching his garment would do the trick.

But someone did notice. Jesus noticed. He asked, "Who touched me?" and began to look around in the crowd. He had felt the healing go forth from Himself.

The woman was terrified. She'd been caught. With fear and trembling, she stepped forward and knelt at His feet. She confessed what she thought--and was sure everyone else thought--was a sin.

He lifted her to her feet and told her, "Daughter, your faith has made you whole."

It was an internal healing. On the outside she looked no different. When Jesus touches your heart, others don't see anything different on your outside, do they? But we know.

Can we touch God? Or do we give up? This woman persevered for twelve years.