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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1007. Who touched me? (8/3/24)

This week in our devotions in Luke we reflect upon Jesus’ power over creation (verses 22-39); His power over dark forces (verses 26-39); finally, we see His power over sickness and death (40-56). May we be inspired to see the glory of Christ so as to deepen our faith and step out in faith. Today, we see Jesus' power to heal body and soul and how this is to build our faith for breakthrough. 


Lesson: Jesus has revealed His identity, power, and intention to heal, so we must believe and keep praying for the sick in body and soul.


You can listen to this devotional below (It’s also available on Spotify on the Community Church Putney podcast) 

‘Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.  She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.  Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”’ (Luke 8:40-48)

I, like lots of people, would love to see more healing and today’s text is so helpful. Luke includes this account in order to show us that there are no hopeless cases with Jesus. This woman, who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, that no one could heal,  is healed by Jesus in a moment - with one touch! Things that are impossible with man are possible with God. Mark tells us that:

‘She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse.’ (Mark 5:26) 

Luke continues to show Jesus’ power over sickness by now giving us a more extraordinary story. Luke is seeking to grow our amazement, our worship and faith by escalating the expression of Jesus' power:

‘While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother.  Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”  Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.’ (Luke 8:49-56)  

Let’s briefly look at two important lessons from these narratives: 


i. What do we learn about healing of the body?

It’s common, and for good reason, to refer to this account of the woman who simply touches Jesus, when we talk about and seek God for healing of the body. This text is to inspire all of us that even with little understanding, the simple act of believing Jesus can result in great miracles. We are told of her simple and faithful attitude in Mark:

‘She thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.”’ (Mark 5:28)

Luke reinforces the importance of simple faith in the account of the raising of the girl from death:

‘Hearing this, [that the girl has died] Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”’ (Luke 8:50)

May these God-inspired narratives fill us with the simple faith to keep reaching out to ’touch the edge of His cloak’ and keep believing for the healing that we want for ourselves or others. 


ii. What do we learn from the healing of the soul

Hidden in this story is the more important truth that Jesus receives and cleanses the unclean. This woman would have been considered ceremonially unclean (see Leviticus 15:25) and would the dead child.  Jesus’ healing and raising of the girl reveals that He has cleansed them before God; When Jesus affirms that, ‘your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”’ The word ‘heal’ (sṓzō) means saved holistically. Her faith in Christ has cleansed her of sin and, secondly, this acceptance and redemption is confirmed through her healing. Her healing is an object and outward lesson of what He has done for her soul and what He does for the soul of everyone who come to Him with a simple ‘one-touch’ faith. Let me reinforce this idea by seeing how the New Testament applies this famous Old Testament verse on healing:

“He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”  For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.’ (1 Peter 2:24-25) 

I trust that we can see that, whist not belittling the need to pray for physical healing, the New Testament applies the wounds of Christ to our spiritual healing. 


Response

Jesus has revealed His identity, power, and intention to heal, so we must believe and keep praying for the sick in body and soul. Reaching out with ‘mustard seed’ or ‘one touch’ faith is very powerful. If you’ve touched and believed on Christ your soul is healed - you are cleansed, have has passed - by His stripes you are healed!

Secondly, don’t worry about the size of your faith, focus on the ‘size’ and glory of Christ. He can heal. Keep asking Him to heal. If you are having to wait, wait in a posture of trust rather than self-reprimand or judgement on God. Look to Christ and His power and compassion. 

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY - SIV WEEK

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News or the 'Teaching' button on the website. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word, or maybe from our week of prayer, this week and how has this helped you? (Again, as with last week, this parable of the lamp on a stand, that we are looking at today, is very much linked with knowing and doing God’s Word).


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Previously, in chapter 8, Luke used The Parable of the Soils, The Parable of the Lamp on a Stand, and His teaching about His family, to teach us about how we are to love His Word and seek to put it into practice. Now, in Luke 8:22-56, he gives us 3 accounts that are applications of this.

Firstly, we see Jesus’ power over creation (verses 22-39); 

Secondly, His power over dark powers (verses 26-39); 

Finally, we see His power over sickness and death (40-56). 

In response, may we ask, 'Who then is this, that [these things] obey Him?' and move to a place of deeper faith and greater obedience. 


This week is SIV (Serve, Invest and inVite) week and so we will focus on how this text teaches us about how we are to seek to bring our community to Jesus. 


What is SIV? 

SIV stands for Serve, Invest, and Invite. This is our very simple strategy to help bring our community to Jesus. We believe that God has placed us in relationships and in specific locations to be 'salt and light.' and to ‘fish for people’.  We can effectively bring people to Jesus by 'Serving' them - demonstrating the love of Christ in practical ways; by 'Investing' in the people to whom we feel the Spirit is leading us; and by 'Inviting' them into our homes by showing hospitality and inviting them to church events, to Alpha, and ultimately, inviting them to come to Jesus through the gospel. 


Please read Luke 8:22-56

  1. These incidents that reveal Jesus power over creation, demons, sickness and death are to fill us with awe and confidence. How should such a vision of God help us as we seek to witness to people? 

  2. After setting the man free from demonic possession, He is told, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” What are the various stories that we could tell in regard to what Jesus has done for us?

  3. We are told, ‘So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.’ How have you been serving, investing and inviting recently - what stories do you have to share? 

  4. Who, in your community, are you regularly praying for to come to Christ?

  5. Do you have any plans for how you plan to serve, invest and invite in the places and to the people that God has given to you? Why not make a note so that you can pray and hold yourself accountable? 

  6. Are you planning to do anything together as a group?

  7. Our passage from Luke makes it clear that it’s Jesus will to reveal His glory to us and to others. Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Let's pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, Invest and Invite.

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