And he said to her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be healed of thy infirmity.
This was the scripture for yesterday’s sermon at church. I find this story to be compelling, yet mysterious.
There were many pressing in on Jesus that day, but only two got their miracle. Why?
It was her faith that healed her, said the Lord. How did faith heal her? Did the others lack faith?
The woman was desperate. Everything she’d tried had failed. Is this a factor?
When she touched Him, He felt the power go out, and she felt it go in. How does this help us understand why she was healed?
I am hoping some of you can help me connect the dots on this one.
Hello, @manbooks! Great question! I by no means have all of the answers, but I do have a few thoughts I believe would be helpful when thinking through this scripture. I hope you find them helpful and would love to hear what you think.
I believe that your first and second questions are related. It was their faith that is connected to their healing. When Christ says that your faith has made you whole to the woman, and He tells the man to only believe; faith and believe are the same root word in Greek. It is interesting to note that we are given a unique insight into the woman’s thought process. She set her expectation and, therefore, her faith when she said, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment.” It is possible that the others were not there with a set expectation of healing and were simply there because they heard He was feeding people or to see others being healed (John 6:2 and John 6:26).
As far as your third question, I do believe this was a factor. It meant that she had faith in Christ alone, He was her only Hope. I find it is often that we turn to Christ as a last resort without realizing that all good things come from Him in the first place. We should not come to Him when all else fails, but, walk with Him through the process from the beginning.
To be honest, I am not sure I have an answer to your fourth question. I am not sure how that particular aspect of the story can help us understand why she was healed. If I come across anything in my studies, I will be sure to update this thread!
We have also had a weekend of teachings on healings at our semi-annual Holy-Spirit Weekend where we bring in speakers for teaching, worship, and healing services. Our guest speaker was Canon Mark Pearson of the Charismatic Episcopal church. He is from New Hampshire. His book, which I recently purchased and is the textbook for Christian Healing at Oral Roberts University is: A Practical and Comprehensive Guide to Christian Healing. I have just begun reading it, but it is easy to understand and follow, some works are too scholarly for me to get much out of.
Canon Mark has been working in healing ministry for decades. Although I won’t elaborate on the healing I received this past weekend in this post, I will get my thoughts together for doing so in another post.
It’s probably more accurate to say that there were only two of particular importance that were written into the Gospel concerning that day–one a raising of the dead. John 21:25 says: Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. (ESV)
Question 2 & 3:
A menstruating woman was not allowed to touch persons during their cycles, doing so makes the person unclean. She had been bleeding for years, imagine the isolation that that left her in. She is so desperate she’s willing to risk great sin. In a crowd she will touch many people rendering them unclean. Even touching Jesus garments will make him ceremonially unclean. That is how powerful her need is and how greatly she believes that Jesus has even greater power. Her great need and desire for healing manifested itself in great faith–she approached Jesus with holy expectation. We know her faith was a component to her healing because Jesus told her it was, but we must keep our focus on the healer. It was her belief in His power.
One of the things we learned this weekend was that Jesus healed in many ways. When the paralytic man was lowered through the roof to Jesus he told the man because of “their” faith his sins were forgiven. (Luke 5:20) With the man born blind, Jesus is asked what sins the man’s parents committed that their son was born blind. He respond that it was not because of sin but so “that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:2) There are several instances where the faith of others results in another’s healing. A good example is the Centurion, whose faith is proclaimed by Jesus because he is a man who understands Jesus authority to heal. Authority that can only come from God.
Canon Mark said all the ways in which Jesus healed are important to study and understand, but not to take one as the methodology for all healing. That perhaps Jesus used many means so that the focus would stay on God and not the method.
Great faith is a component, but not necessarily the component for supernatural healing. I wonder if we make the lack of faith the reason why a person is not healed, are we not believing that the person has power to inhibit God’s power? God says He will bless who he will bless, even the unbeliever/sinner’s field receive rain. The Centurion’s servant was healed in absentia, he may not even have been aware that a healing was being sought.
Whereas I can’t definitively say that a lack of faith can prohibit healing, I can say pretty definitively that telling a person that the reason they were not healed was a lack of faith can do great damage. My father’s uncle, a godly man who believed and lived obediently, was told his daughter was not healed of her appendicitis (pre-antibiotic days) because of his lack of faith. He never stepped in a church again. One hears many stories like this. We have great power to destroy faith with an incautious word when we honestly do not know how much faith another has AND whether or not it is a component required for their healing.
Another aspect of the weekend teaching was the idea of the “now” and the “not yet” that we live in, in Christ. We know not everyone we pray for to be healed receives it in the “now.” But we were admonished not the let the “not yet” limit what we are willing to do in the “now.” I found that to be especially wise. To live in expectation as believers in a God that heals.
I’m wondering if the key point of that part of scripture is the palpable nature of supernatural healing. That it’s not a magic wand scenario where you are one thing in one moment and something else in another. That through the Holy Spirit that power of God moves in you in such a way that you have no doubt what it is. A year ago my shoulder was healed with the laying on of hands. I felt deep heat in the shoulder, much hotter than warm hands could do on their own, deep within the joint. In those minutes my shoulder was fully healed, it hasn’t even been stiff since then and it has full mobility. On Friday when Canon Mark layed hands on me (and he had no idea I had a hip problem) my hip began to tingle like a vibrator on megablast mode and it immediately spread down my whole leg. As I was expecting something different at the time (nothing to do with my hip) I am convinced it was God’s healing power. My leg has “buzzed” like this intermittently since last Friday, maybe a couple of times a day and I’m walking better and better. On Sunday I was able to stand for the full praise and worship time (about 20 minutes), it’s been a few years since I could do that. Some healings are instant, others a process. In both of these particular cases I could feel the power of God at work. The woman Jesus healed felt that her body was healed.
I don’t know that the details of this miracle help us understand how she was healed, but it does illustrate that you can know the power of our healing God is in you.
I do not consider myself to be very knowledgable on the “how” of Christian Healing (other than that the answer will always be God). But I am a receiver of God’s healing on at least four occasions and my mother was told 46 years ago that her metastatic breast cancer would spread further within the year and she was given a prognosis of 12 months…tops. When I saw her on Sunday she looked great! I can only say I am greatly blessed and I give God all the glory.
@Jennifer_Judson I just wanted to thank you for such a wonderfully well-rounded response. The thought and care you put into your answer was evident throughout. I appreciate you also dealt with the very sensitive issue of people claiming others are not healed because of their “lack of faith.”
Thank you @Joshua_Hansen. It was certainly a timely topic for me to respond to.
We know that God is sovereign and that His ways are higher then our ways…too wonderful to know. So we will not have answers when a person is not healed in the “now.” But we are also told that faith can move mountains and that believers, through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, will be able to heal and perform miracles just as Jesus did. And Jesus is not a liar.
So we stand in faith. We are to live in Holy Expectation of healing encounters with God Almighty, a God that pursued us and saved us. A God that wants us to live fully alive and fully restored.