The Edge of His Garment – part 1

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Luke 8 v 48. “Thus He said to her, “Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace”.

Here are two miracles woven together and our job is to unpack them to see what they teach us about our Saviour. A certain Jairus, ruler of the local synagogue, sent for Jesus because his daughter was sick. It is good to note that not all synagogue or religious leaders were opposed to Jesus. In fact this man falls at his feet pleading with him.

But now we are introduced to a problem. As he was on his way to attend the sick girl a woman who had a “bleeding” problem came up to him in the crowd and touched his robe. Remember that Luke is writing this document for his friend Onesimus who may well have been considering becoming a Christian. He would have remembered the story recounted in Luke 7 vs 7-10 which was similar in many ways. There it was a Gentile centurion who asked for help because his servant was ill. Here it is a leader of the synagogue who asks for help because his daughter was ill. There Jesus spoke a word and the servant was healed from a distance. Could Jesus not do the same now? Jairus is frantic about his daughter and Jesus appears to be held up by the crowd, and by this poor woman who touched him. Could Jesus not merely speak a word again, and the daughter be healed from a distance?

Luke does not answer that question at this point. Instead he follows the interruptions that have occurred and focusses on the woman who was healed by Jesus, through touching the edge of his cloak. Her healing is another example of salvation, but what aspect of salvation was Luke illustrating by telling her story. Her case was chronic. It was a physical weakness and women throughout history would be able to identify with her. Luke says in v 43. “…..no one could heal her”. We need to remember that Luke himself was a physician and this comment of his indicates how serious her problem was. Some translations say she spent all her money on doctors and Mark 5 v 26 seems to corroborate this.

She wanted to be healed without being observed but this is not possible when dealing with Jesus. He wanted to know who touched him. The disciples protested that the crowd was too large to identify her, but Jesus insisted until she came forward in front of all the people and confessed that it was she who touched him and told him why.

Remember that once before a woman came into a home and touched Jesus (Luke 7 vs 36-50). At that time Simon the Pharisee doubted Jesus’ ability to read the woman’s character. Simon was greatly offended by the “Uncleanness” associated with the woman’s actions. But Jesus read her actions differently and furthermore, mysteriously knew exactly what was going through Simon’s mind. In the same way Jesus knew that someone had been healed by touching him. What was he going to say to the poor woman?

More tomorrow.

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