Posted by: pmarkrobb | January 23, 2017

in the Healer, not the healing

i love the gospels.  i love reading about Jesus, and what He said and did when He was here walking among us.  Although, and i believe i’ve said it before, i find reading the gospel of Mark very much like attempting to drink out of a firehose!  Eight verses on the man who was chosen by God to announce Jesus to His people, John the Baptist.  Three verses on Jesus being baptized by John.  One verse on Jesus immediately going to the desert for forty days to be tempted by Satan himself.  And then, four verses to tell the story of Jesus choosing His first four disciples.  It’s like Mark is saying, “Yeah, yeah, this really amazing and meaningful stuff happened as Jesus began the work of his Father, but listen, we’ve got three years and more incredible stories than you could ever imagine to cover!  We’re burning daylight here!”

One thing i’ve been reminded of this week, is that we have no excuse for being too busy.  The time we may fail to spend with God when our schedules become overtaxed is time we are choosing to not spend with Him.  Jesus was fully God, but our humanity is not an excuse for not finding time for Him.  Jesus was also fully human, and set an intentional rhythm to His life that included time with the Father.  That time was His nourishment.  He valued it equally with the purpose for why He chose to become one of us.  There are valuable lessons in the daily choices Jesus made to both be busy with the Father’s work and steal away to spend time with Him.

In “trying to keep up” this past week, i was moved and challenged by one single story – the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe, believing that single act would heal her.  This woman could be judged by some as desperate, but i believe she was anything but.

By Mark’s account, Jesus was in full-on healing mode, and He was pressed all around, surrounded by crowds.  Jesus heals a man who was demon-possessed, and then gets into a boat to go to the opposite side of a lake where another crowd was gathered to greet him.  As he hits the shore, leaves the boat and begins walking, a leader of the local synagogue named Jairus approaches Jesus and falls at His feet.  His daughter is dying and he pleads with Jesus to go with him to his home so that Jesus can touch and heal her.  Jairus believes that Jesus can heal her, if they can only get to her in time.  Jesus leaves with Jairus, and the crowd follows them.  i was not there that day, but i can see the scene with my mind’s eye.  The crowd was moving en masse and Jesus and Jairus were moving with it, maybe just a few paces faster.  As they pushed through the crowd, there must have been countless hands, arms, and shoulders brushing against the Master’s own.  And then something happened that caused Jesus to stop dead in His tracks.  As He was walking, a woman fighting a twelve-year battle with bleeding pushed her way through the crowd to get to Jesus.  When she got near enough, she reached out and touched His robe.  At the moment her skin made contact with His garment, Jesus’ power to heal flowed from Him into her.  And, after asking her to claim her faith and identity, Jesus boldly declared, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.” Mark 5:34 (NLT).  Jesus was not asking in order to know; He was inviting her to new life.

This woman may have been at the end of her own strength; She may even have felt at the end of her rope.  But this woman who had suffered at the hands of doctors and spent the full measure of her earthly treasure only to get worse, heard Jesus was coming.  The Bible does not speak of her state of mind or intent.  Some might assume this was her “last resort” – that she had tried everything else and figured, “Why not?!”  But in the woman’s actions and answer, i find a faith which was spotless and strong.  She knew who Jesus was, and she knew that He could heal her.

i have experienced faith like this — moments and circumstances where i believed without an ounce or shade of doubt that Jesus could heal.  i prayed in that confidence.  i knew Jesus could heal.  And He did.  A few times on this side of eternity, and a few on the other.  See, i don’t believe the faith this woman had — the faith which Jesus said made her well — was a faith in the healing.  i believe it was a faith in the Healer.  Just as i have written before that our trust should not be in the outcome, but rather the God of the outcome, our faith should be in the Healer, not the healing.

The Healer never fails, even when the healing does not come (in our desire, timing or definition).  This woman believed, touched, and was healed.  i pray that is also your experience in this life.  And if not (the faith of the three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah), may your faith remain steadfast and strong in the Great Healer.

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Responses

  1. The Healer is everything!! Thanks for sharing. ✝

  2. We may initially start with our desires centered on the healing as we are, by grace, drawn to the Healer. We receive in some form. I then see our tendency to shift our attentions, love and relationship from the Healer back to the provided healing…………. the Giver back to the provided gift……… the Changer back to the provided change…….. and so on.

    Father, might we more fully know, enjoy and dwell with You as You provide healing and gifts and change. 🙂 “From the fullness of Your grace (the Healer AND the healing) we have all received one blessing after another.” John 1:16


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