(The Abundant Life Series – Batch 3)
Luke 8:43-48 reads, of Jesus:
- “And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”
When I think of this account of a true story that happened years ago, as given in the scriptures, it makes me think of three (3) points as follows:
1. As human beings, WE ALL HAVE ISSUES, of one kind or another.
In my own case, I have had issues of varying types like career issues and singleness issues and childhood issues and appearance issues. The list could go on but I’ll stop there.
This is no different from the average human being. We may all walk around with a smile plastered on our faces on most days, to give people the impression that we are always okay, always happy and never have a care in the world or feel disappointed with any aspect of life but truth be told, this is all for show. None of us are exempt. In this broken world, we all have issues we are dealing with like the lady who had an issue of blood.
2. This lady had an issue of blood for TWELVE (12) LONG YEARS before she got to Jesus and he healed her.
This tells me that it matters not how long we’ve been dealing with our issue, of whatever kind it may be. Jesus does not put time limits on his ability to bring change in our situation. Whether it’s 12 years or 22 years, if we want his intervention and pursue after it like this lady was determined to do, if we ask him to help us, he will not say that too much time has passed and therefore, that he can no longer help us.
Jesus can ALWAYS help us. With him, it is NEVER too late, as we learned in the story with Lazarus, where he arrived on the scene four days after Lazarus had died and was rotting and brought him back to life!
There is a window of opportunity in which God could choose to operate yes, contingent on our obedience but when it comes to his power, it is not constrained or limited by time. No matter how long we have been going through what we have been going through, even if its twelve (12) long years or more, Jesus can bring healing, deliverance and a solution to that overwhelming problem.
3. The lady had SPENT ALL THAT SHE HAD ON PHYSICIANS, trying to get healed of her situation BUT TO NO AVAIL.
This reminds me that there are some issues in life that we will face, which no doctor, no friend, no spouse, no co-worker, no family member and not even our fellow brothers and sisters in the faith can help us with.
There are some issues that only Jesus is qualified to handle and that only Jesus can grant us the victory over. Some medical problems are too hard for doctors to help and to bring meaningful change but thanks be to God, not so with Jesus. He is the Great Physician (Mark 2:17).
Similarly, some psychological, emotional, mental, financial, social, physical and spiritual issues in life are too deep, too difficult, too complex for human beings on the whole to solve but not so with Jesus. As he said in Matthew 19:26, “…With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.”
With God, ‘impossible’ gets changed to ‘possible’. ‘Too late’ gets turned into ‘on time’. ‘It will never happen’ gets turned into ‘look at what the Lord has done’ and dashed hopes and dreams get resurrected because as Jesus told Martha before he raised Lazarus up from the dead, “I AM the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, YET shall he live.”
When it comes to Jesus, he is so powerful, that no matter what our issue is, YET, he is able to handle it. YET, he is able to heal. YET, he is able to deliver. YET, he is able to inject hope in a seemingly hopeless situation. For, he is the God of all hope. He is the God that dissipates ‘issues’ into oblivion, as if they never existed and sends our problems on flight, so that he can bring beauty out of our ashes.
In Isaiah 41:18-20, he told the Israelites through his Prophet:
- “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. I will plant in the wilderness the cedar, the shittah tree, and the myrtle, and the oil tree; I will set in the desert the fir tree, and the pine, and the box tree together: That they may see, and know, and consider, and understand together, that the hand of the Lord hath done this, and the Holy One of Israel hath created it.”
In the Bible, the Israelites had a major issue or problem. After they had left Egypt, a place of bondage and were seeking to make their way forward, Pharaoh and his Egyptians tried to follow and overtake them, so as to bring them back into bondage. Yet, although he aggressively pursued, God soon dealt with that issue, till it was no more. He parted the sea so that the Israelites could pass through and when the Egyptians tried to follow, he caused the sea to return, so that every one of them were overthrown.
In Exodus 15, it states, after the Lord had wrought this victory and gotten rid of the issue:
- “Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto the Lord, and spake, saying, I will sing unto the Lord, for he hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea. The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father’s God, and I will exalt him. The Lord is a man of war: the Lord is his name. Pharaoh’s chariots and his host hath he cast into the sea: his chosen captains also are drowned in the Red sea. The depths have covered them: they sank into the bottom as a stone.
- Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy. And in the greatness of thine excellency thou hast overthrown them that rose up against thee: thou sentest forth thy wrath, which consumed them as stubble. And with the blast of thy nostrils the waters were gathered together, the floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congealed in the heart of the sea.
- The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my lust shall be satisfied upon them; I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them. Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the mighty waters. Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?...”
No wonder Moses had previously told the Israelites, when they became fearful because they saw that the Egyptians were pursuing after them to bring them back into bondage:
- “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.”
Moses knew full well, that the Lord could handle ANY and EVERY issue. Nothing was too hard for him to deal with and no battle too sore for him not to obtain victory for his people.
Admittedly, like the Israelites, sometimes when we consider our issue/s, we are tempted to become fearful and to give in to feelings of despondency. Some of us are looking at the clock, our age, our medical problem, our dwindling finances, our situation at home or at work or in life in general and we are tempted to believe that our issue is too much or too great or too much time has passed, for any meaningful change to occur. BUT GOD!
As God intervened to handle the major issue that the Israelites faced and to deliver them from the onslaught of the enemy, whatever your problem or issue, God has a solution for that too!
In retelling the story again, of how God delivered the Israelites from Pharaoh and the Egyptians, in Nehemiah 9:9-11, it states that the Lord:
- “…didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters.”
In Isaiah 43, God, speaking through the Prophet, put it perfectly, when He said:
- “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no saviour. I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed, when there was no strange god among you: therefore ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.
- Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?…I am the Lord, your Holy One, the creator of Israel, your King. Thus saith the Lord, which maketh a way in the sea, and a path in the mighty waters; Which bringeth forth the chariot and horse, the army and the power; THEY SHALL LIE DOWN TOGETHER, THEY SHALL NOT RISE: THEY ARE EXTINCT, THEY ARE QUENCHED AS TOW.”
The Lord can and wants to do the same for you and me when it comes to our issue or issues in life. Whatever they may be, stubborn and aggressive and difficult as they may be, He is able to handle them, so that they can no longer rise. He is able to deal with them so that they don’t keep us from becoming who he has called us to be and fulfilling what he has called us to do. He is able to grant us victory over our issue or issues, so that like Moses and the Israelites, when we consider what he has done for us, we can rejoice in song.
Like the Egyptian issue which the Israelites had, when God intervenes with his power to help us, those issues become extinct and quenched as tow. This is what happened with the lady with the issue of blood. The Word of God states in Luke 8:44, that as soon as she touched the border of Jesus’ garment, “…immediately her issue of blood stanched.”
Stanched means that the blood flow ceased and so she was healed. In touching Jesus’ garment through faith, he allowed power to be released to bring her the healing she had so long desired.
4. THE BLOOD OF JESUS IS ABLE TO MAKE US WHOLE, no matter the issue.
In thinking of the woman with the issue of blood and what must have been her experience and how much she must have been scorned throughout the years but then how beautifully Jesus healed and delivered her from that shameful condition, I am suddenly reminded of what God did for the Israelites as stated in Ezekiel 16:6-14.
Perhaps similar to the experience that the lady with the issue of blood had had all those years in her filthy condition, in this scripture, God stated to the children of Israel (referred to as ‘Jerusalem’):
- “None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee POLLUTED IN THINE OWN BLOOD, I said unto thee WHEN THOU WAST IN THY BLOOD, LIVE; yea, I SAID UNTO THEE WHEN THOU WAST IN THY BLOOD, LIVE.
- I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare. Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God, and thou becamest mine.
- THEN WASHED I THEE WITH WATER; YEA, I THROUGHLY WASHED AWAY THY BLOOD FROM THEE, and I anointed thee with oil. I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk. I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck. And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
- Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom. And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God.”
This scripture is a beautiful description of what Jesus does for us spiritually when we come to him in our vile condition for salvation. Like the woman who was burdened down with an issue of blood, when we are born into this world, we are born with sin in us because it was in our ancestors and this is a serious issue from which we need to be cleansed and freed.
To all who realize this, believe that God’s testimony of Jesus is true and confess the truth with their mouth that he Jesus is Lord, Jesus washes them from their filthy sin condition in his own blood, which is pure, perfect, precious, powerful and potent, thereby bringing about regeneration or spiritual life.
Revelation 1:5 states of Jesus, “…Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood…”
To my mind, the scripture in Ezekiel also paints a picture of how beautifully Jesus can cleanse and restore, when even as Christians, we have messed up and are polluted in our wrongs but genuinely repent, confess our sins to him and receive his forgiveness.
1 John 1:9 tells us as Christians, that “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This cleansing for the Christian, so as bring about restoration is also done with his blood. Hence the reason 1 John 1:7 tells the Christian, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son CLEANSETH us from all sin.”
Notably, the scripture did not say ‘cleansed’ as in past tense but ‘cleanseth’, which is present continuous. It is something that Jesus, the Christian’s advocate with the Father, does on an ongoing basis, when his children come to him in genuine repentance and confession for their sins. For the Christian, this cleansing does not bring about regeneration, as he or she is already regenerated, meaning born again, spiritually alive and adopted into God’s family. However, it brings about much needed restoration, a precursor to having and enjoying continued fellowship with God.
In summary, the points above remind us that for Jesus to intervene in our issue, we simply need to put our faith and trust in him, confident that no matter what we face, how seemingly hopeless it seems, how long we’ve had our issue or how many persons were unable to help us, that He has the solution.
He is able to help us. He is able to make the difference, even when he delays as he did with Lazarus who was very sick and then died (John 11) and the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:21-28, who came to him to plead for help on behalf of her daughter’s issue.
In both cases, Jesus did not move immediately to deal with the issue though they were serious and the situation seemed dismal but when he was good and ready, he did.
That Jesus is able to help us and to make the difference in our lives, no matter what is clearly what the woman with the issue of blood believed. Matthew 9:21 alludes to the faith-filled mindset she had before receiving her miracle. It states, “For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.”
This faith then fueled her actions because faith without works is dead and so she moved determinedly in Jesus’ direction. She did not allow anything to stop her, not pride, not shame, not embarrassment. She pushed forward and she finally made contact.
She was confident, despite how human beings had failed her and maybe even exploited her throughout the years, that all she needed in her issue-weary condition was to merely touch the hem of Jesus’ garment and she would be issue-free!
She was not doubtful in the least or double-minded about what she had purposed to do or the results it would yield. She was confident, that just one touch would do.
She was then rewarded for her faith, which pleased the Lord. For, without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:1-11 tells us:
- “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good report. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that COMETH TO GOD must BELIEVE THAT HE IS, and that HE IS A REWARDER OF THEM THAT DILIGENTLY SEEK HIM.“
The lady with the issue of blood demonstrated complete faith in the Lord Jesus and WENT TO HIM, BELIEVING THAT HE IS, meaning that he is the source of life and the solution to all issues and that he would REWARD HER WITH HEALING because she had DILIGENTLY SOUGHT HIM.
And this is exactly what happened. Matthew 9:22 states: “But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy FAITH hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.”
(Written on 15th and 18th November, 2021)
Dear Reader, if you found the above Article to be interesting, informative or edifying, you may be interested in reading the following:
- Note 112 – ‘Lessons I Learned From The Lazarus Story’
- Note 196 – ‘A Hopeless End Or An Endless Hope?’
- Note 239 – ‘Jesus – Who Is He?’
- Note 250 – ‘The Blood Of Jesus Gives Spiritual Life’
- Note 278 – ‘His Grace Is Sufficient And His Blood Is Enough’