“Just then a woman who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak. She said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.’” Jesus turned and saw her. ‘Take heart, daughter,’ he said, ‘your faith has healed you.’ And the woman was healed from that moment.” (Matthew 9:20-22)
This healing story, of the woman with the continuous bleeding problem, is well known by most Christians. This story reminds us that for some people, the pathway to health comes only after a long and difficult period of time. Some individuals get discouraged and give up on believing that they will get well. People in this culture are often programmed to expect instant results. We want what we want right now. We are a microwave generation. They forget that healing is a process.
Although this woman had suffered for twelve years under professional medical care, yet her condition got worse, she never gave up believing that she would be made well. You may have been sick for a long period of time, but don’t throw in the towel just yet. You can do what this woman did, put your faith and trust in God’s healing Messiah, Jesus Christ. You will discover as this woman did, that God rewards faith. Even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, God responds to faith, both large and small. Why is this so? Remember, God is Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals. God wants everyone to be a whole person and proved that by sending us a healing Messiah, Jesus Christ. Also, salvation is God’s response to human sin and brokenness. Healing is a part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. God anointed Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power to heal those who are oppressed by the devil (Acts 10:38).
Let’s face it, people don’t get sick over night, and most often, people do not get well over night. For most of us, healing usually happens in a step by step process. In seeking healing, we must never give up or to give in to despair or hopeless. Everything is possible to God. Whether we are healed instantly, gradually, or over a long period of time, from medical means or by divine intervention, healing is a process.
Although our healing may not manifest itself in the way we may think or desire it, we are to trust that healing is always possible. Our faith calls us to rest in the assurance that God loves us and wants us to be made whole. For those who have no faith or their faith is weak, remember that Jesus encouraged us that we are to keep on asking, keep on seeking, and keep on knocking for what we need from God, including healing. He also said that “we have not because we ask not.” On another occasion Jesus said “come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give your rest.”
Healing happens in one of five ways: instantly (miraculously), gradually, coping, medical means, or in the resurrection. When God gives a person the ability or grace to cope with a particular illness that does not mean God cannot or will not heal him or her. Remember the paralyzed man was not healed until after thirty-eight years. Healing is always possible, but a person may not be healed until the resurrection. Believers are assured that healing will ultimately happen, even if it means not being healed until in the resurrection. Remember too, Jesus never refused to heal any person. Jesus still heals today through his church, the body of Christ.
It is important to remember that God is never indifferent towards human needs and suffering. The way this woman experienced her healing reminds us not to give up on ourselves or on God, because God does not give up on us. God’s power and grace are always available and adequate to meet every human need. When we come to God, through Jesus Christ, all of God’s power is available for our healing, wholeness and salvation. We can bring our insufficiences to the all sufficient Christ.
Our human needs are always before God. Like this woman, we can never be lost to God, even in a crowd. We can never be too unclean or too broken to receive God’s healing grace. Through Jesus, we can always appropriate God’s love and power. Jesus said on numerous occasions, “I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name” (John 16:23). Further, a sparrow cannot fall to the ground, without God’s knowledge, and you and I are infinitely more valuable to God than a small bird. Healing is always possible, because healing is a part of God’s redemptive plan for humanity. (See Isaiah 53:4-10). When we pray, we are to believe that God always has knowledge of what our needs are. God is ready and waiting to connect human needs with His supernatural power.
1. What is one lesson that you take away from the healing of the woman with the issue of blood?
2. What role did faith play in the healing of the woman in this healing story?
3. What is standing in the way of you receiving the healing you need?
4. How do you respond to this statement: “No sickness is beyond God’s power?”