Faith That Saves – Luke 8.43-48

Now a woman was there who had been suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years but could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak, and at once the bleeding stopped. Then Jesus asked, 

“Who was it who touched me?” 

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are surrounding you and pressing against you!” But Jesus said, 

“Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.” 

When the woman saw that she could not escape notice, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she explained why she had touched him and how she had been immediately healed. Then he said to her, 

“Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace.”

(NET)

Moving on from healing the demon-possessed man (vv.26-39), Jesus returns to the Western shores of the lake and the crowd welcomed him, because they were all waiting for him. Jesus is approached by a synagogue leader called Jairus who pleaded with him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, and she was dying (vv.41-42). For a synagogue leader to come to Jesus and plead for help shows the level of Messianic acceptance the Lord was starting to gather. Then, as Jesus was on his way, He is pressed in by the crowds. Literally, this is saying that the crowds were so tight and close that people were struggling to breath. It’s close, it’s loud, it’s suffocating, it’s disorientating. 

In the crowd is a woman…who had been suffering from a haemorrhage for twelve years. This would have left her ritually and ceremonially unclean, embarrassed, and socially excluded. We read that she approached Jesus in the scrum of the crowd and touched the edge of his cloak. She touched the very part of His clothing that was there to signify His ritual and ceremonial purity. She approached Jesus for exactly what she needed and knew by faith (v.48) that He was the source of the help she needed. 

Perhaps you’re thinking, well, if Jesus is all that, why did He have to ask:

“Who was it who touched me?” 

“Someone touched me, for I know that power has gone out from me.” 

Rather than ignorance of who touched Him, this was an opportunity and a call for the woman to present herself. Jesus wanted her to express publicly and openly the faith in Him that caused her to get into the middle of a suffocating crowd and touch the edge of his cloak. Jesus knows all there is to know, and He knew that this public profession would be recorded, preserved, and that you would be reading it now. 

What do you need to come to Him for today? Maybe it’s physical like the woman here, maybe it’s a question, maybe it’s a doubt, maybe it’s a lingering sin that you can’t shake yourself. Whatever it is, we need to approach Jesus with the same faith that the woman here did, faith that He is the Messiah who saves (v.48). 

Published by James Travis

Pastor of Saar Fellowship in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Married to Robyn and Dad to our two boys.

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