“On Your Mark”
The Benediction of Peace (Chapter 5 Verses 21-43)
The woman was not trying to be deceitful (vv27-28), she was just trying to keep her sickness concealed, naturally. She believed getting close enough to Jesus to touch him would be enough. And the crowds of people do not hinder her. You see, faith, when it sees the need, will not be kept from Jesus by anything. You can put up all the excuses you like, all the fences, all the arguments under the sun. They just don’t hold water. I recall a man who told me he would not come to Christ because of the great injustice of predestination. Just excuses, that is all it is, a fence to keep the Lord out. The need is both great and urgent, the disease deeper than even this woman’s sickness, when you see that need, when you truly believe what God says in his word, and see Jesus as the truly wonderful Saviour he is, you will come. And I tell you nothing, not people, not predestination nor anything else, will keep you away. Her faith was justified (v29). the Lord knew she had been healed (v30), to the incredulity of his disciples (v31). But Jesus causing the woman to reveal herself (vv32-34), is for her own sake, not to embarrass her. In fear, at Jesus feet, the story comes out. That faith had to be expressed. That faith had to be taught also. She had to understand it was not by some superstitious touch that she had been healed. But by the Person of Jesus, and the Divine omnipotent power residing in him. She must know and understand that he is the one able to answer the unspoken need and trust of her heart. Jesus is well pleased with her. What an encouragement to Jairus? Was he listening and learning?
The woman is sent away with the benediction of peace from Jesus. What blessed peace indeed when Jesus is our friend. Her deep faith, her trust in him has brought to her this everlasting peace. Firstly, peace with God (Romans 5.1). No longer does the wrath of God remain upon her (John 3.36), that old hostility is gone (Romans 8.7). There is no middle ground between the love and wrath of God, it is one or the other. Either with him or against him (Matthew 12.30). And secondly, the peace of God (Philippians 4.7). This faith which satisfies the conscience (Hebrews 9.14), that sets free from guilty fears. This faith which brings the sense of pardon, and friendship with God, keeps the heart and mind in a condition of tranquillity, through Jesus Christ. How is it maintained in the Christian life? By constant application of his blood (1John 1.7).
(© James R Hamilton, written September, 1996)