October 25, 2014
READ: Mark 5:21-34
He kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling . . . came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done (vv.32-34).
It is said that the number one fear in life is public speaking, ranking higher than even the fear of death. As a comedian once observed, that means that at a funeral, people would rather be in the coffin than give the eulogy!
With that in mind, Jesus’ request that the bleeding woman identify herself seems almost like a punishment (Mark 5:30). After all, she had already been healed—why not simply let her go on her way, without being publicly singled out? One important reason was that her healing wasn’t yet complete. Her bleeding had ceased, but her wounds were more than physical. In fact, since her condition made her religiously unclean, she had been isolated from others for more than a decade (v.25). Jesus stopped and asked her to identify herself, not to punish her but so that He might heal her completely, speak words of peace and forgiveness over her and call her “daughter” (v.34). He wouldn’t let her go until all of those things had been said and done.
This is a wonderful reminder that God wants to mend not only our physical wounds, but our hearts and souls as well. It’s easy to forget this and—like the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4—become focused on physical concerns and needs. This makes us unable to see that the “water” Jesus wants to give us is more than physical (v.10). Or we’re like the people of Israel who yearned for a political liberator, and so failed to understand that Jesus had come to free them from so much more: the sin that separated them from God the Father.
Whenever God heals or provides physically for us, we shouldn’t be quick to run off and simply resume life. There might be greater and deeper healing that He wants to do in our hearts! —Peter Chin
365-day plan› Acts 11:1-18
Read Luke 5:17-26 to see another example of Jesus healing, not just physical brokenness but spiritual as well.
Have you ever experienced physical hardship that overflowed into spiritual or emotional effects? How do you make sure to give God as much time to address spiritual and emotional needs as physical ones?