“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate me from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)(NIV) How do you see this promise? Are you convinced? This week we look at two accounts that bring us unshakable hope that the love of God is ours for the having.
For twelve years a woman, unnamed by the gospel writers, had been tortured, whispered about, and avoided. She was an out-cast because of a condition that caused her to hemorrhage. In Jewish culture, this condition required a bleeding woman to be deemed unclean, avoided and ostracized. For 12 years she had not been able to attend worship in the temple or visit with friends over dinner. She had been in this condition so long that she had no belonging, no community, no love or even a kind touch.
Yet on this day she knew that if she could just get to Jesus, there was hope. Between her and Jesus that day was not only a crowd, but another person, an important person whose need was even greater. But she took the risk anyway……
This broken, physically weakened woman, walked close to 30 miles to get to Capernaum, she kept moving. As Jesus and Jairus make their way through the crowd toward his home where a little girl lay dying, the woman rallies her strength, she chooses to believe there is still hope, and she crawls through the crowd to grab the hem of Jesus rob. A touch is all she can muster. And a touch is all she needs.
Mark Chapter 5 Verse 29 says “Immediately her bleeding stops and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.”
How easily this woman could have slipped back into the crowd. And there is an indication that she was going to do just that, expect Jesus stops and asks the question. Jesus wanted this woman who had lived so long in isolation, unloved, untouched, to receive not just healing of her affliction, but relationship with him that would change everything.
The disciples completely miss it. But don’t you. Miracles cost Jesus something. “He felt power leave Him.” The Love of Christ is the most Power Filled gift He gives to us.
This is key to understanding God’s promise to love us. Satan can whisper a lie to you, but he has no control over whether you believe it. The love of Christ knows no boundaries, recognizes no labels. Neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation… nothing can separate me from His love.
At first it sounds like a fairy tale that is cruel in its promise because no one has ever come to your rescue. But God is calling you to step out and grab hold of His love, not just the hem of it, but the heart of it.
Here is how this happens. He does this when you and I, when we replace every lie with God’s word, His promises. For every problem there is a promise. 7,487 of them is one person’s discovery.
This is LOVE. Jesus doesn’t give us what we believe we need. He gives us what HE knows we need and He gives it out of deep undeniable love for us.
It’s interesting that Jesus knew exactly who it was that touched him that day but He didn’t point her out saying “It was you, wasn’t it?” He let her decide whether she would step out or not. Verse 33 “Then the woman knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and trembling with fear told him the whole truth.”
If the woman had slipped away that day, her body might have been healed, but residual shame would be her new affliction. We don’t know what she said. Maybe she told him how alone she had been for so long. Maybe she told him about the shame and pain and the fear. Maybe she told him how her affliction started. But we know what he said to her: Verse 34 “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering” I want you to know this is the only place in scripture where Jesus refers to someone as “daughter”. Such a tender, inclusive, name to someone who had been an outcast for so long.
But The love that heals all, transforms all, and brings life to all is there for all. The question is - Do you know this and are you Convinced enough of this to place all your hope in Him?
Make plans today to be present Saturday night at 5:30 and Sunday morning at 10:30. Our Children’s choir will be participating in our time of worship and then we will unpack this account in Mark Chapter 5. My prayer is that you will leave convinced of God’s love and in this truth find unshakable hope! Dave