Sunday, January 27, 2013

It Takes Just One Touch ふれるだけで

It Takes Just One Touch  ふれるだけで  Luke 8:43-48 
The situation is set up for us in two verses. 
Doctor Luke is a medical person so naturally he’d be interested in the history of the lady in question. This was written AFTER the fact so he can put into his story certain facts that give it clarity that was lost to the witnesses of the incident at the time. 
The first verse gives us the situation and the second gives us the solution. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years, but no one could heal her  Easy in; easy out.  So much NOT like real life! 
This lady had a bleeding that not only took a toll on her physically but in every way possible.  We know from Biblical study that a woman who is bleeding during her monthly period is ceremonially unclean for a short time: she cannot enter the Temple. 
She is also separated from family during that time.  She can’t really cook for anyone nor can she be physically with anyone.  She can’t be intimate with her husband.  She must keep clear of all contact with cooking containers, people and society UNTIL her purification period has finished. 
In her case, it was not just for one week but for 12 long years!
She had spent all she had on medical care.  From Mark’s account, Mark 5: 26. 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. She was taken advantage of in every way possible.
Today, in most of the world, medical care is just not there for the people.  I have heard stories in some countries that a family or even one person would have to travel hundreds of miles to see a Nurse and even further to see a Doctor.  Women would start ON FOOT for the clinic weeks before the due date so that she’d be there for the birth of their 7th child.
Many times they could not afford the medical treatment so they would find alternative methods…like ancient remedies of a mixture of wine and rubber alum _used to keep cucumbers fresh—colorless salt that at one ounce is toxic to humans and has killed people. 
Or additional ingredients might be garden crocuses or onions.  But these attempts had all failed. And the doctors just took her money until it was all gone!
In despair over her loneliness and worsening condition, she hopes that an unorthodox- unconventional- approach—a stealthy touching of Jesus, will change her fate.  That is why she came up from behind Him.  Contact with His garment, either the edge or the tassels hanging from them, may bring her instant healing. 
That was her goal. 彼女の目標Touch the hem of His garment. 主の着物のすそに触れる  and Life Happens!
She was sick and tired of being ill.  Weakness was taking her.  Her effort works, but it brings her more than she bargained for. She is not permitted to retain secrecy.
Picture the situation.  Many dozens of people pushing and shoving trying to get close and yes, even touch Jesus. 
You have been to a sale in a department store and you want to get that special item…you push and shove and you dig your heels into the carpet to get a better hold on the table.  You are being touched by at least 7-10 people.  One touch is as obvious as any other. 
And you say: “Who just touched me?”
A rock star is in a crowd of fans and says: “Who just took my picture?”
Strange, right?  It could be anyone! 
They all denied it!  Peter—again fast to say something says: “Master, really?  The people here are ALL crowding around us and pressing against You, and You want to know who touched You?
Listen to the reply Jesus gives: “Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.
It wasn’t the regular ‘touch ya’ kind of touch…this had meaning. 
This was something else…and He knew this kind of touch…it was a touch of FAITH!”   A touch of FAITH! 信仰によりふれる
We all have been through some hard times in life.  Some seem to go through more hard times than others but it is common for us to see some pain and heart ache.  Some have experienced some pain for years.  Some of them will never show the strain it has on them: they seem so well cared for.  They hide it and that is not bad to do!
Some, on the other hand, tell everyone about the problems they go through.  You hear them on plane rides…my pain, my liver… 
Each of us has our way of dealing with issues we face.  Each one has a way to work through the pain.  Some do it better than others but we all are in the same boat: life is hard.
Yet, with this woman, she was seeking a way out of her problem, which is a very good thing to do. 
Luke does not tell us if her family was there to help—it sounds like they were not.  She was alone…in her pain…money going out the window…the bleeding kept flowing…getting weaker day after day. 
Going to sleep at night HOPING the bleeding would be stopped when she awoke but, as soon as reality fell on her in the morning, she realized that she was still bleeding---for 12 years!
Physically broken and wishing for a cure by morning.  I can’t imagine being in their shoes.  People like Joni Erikson ジョニ·エリクソン多田の話  & Nick Vujicic ニック・ヴュージシック の物語 have had times like that. 
Illustration: As a teenager, Joni Erickson Tada enjoyed riding horses, hiking, tennis, and swimming.  On July 30, 1967, she dove into Chesapeake Bay after misjudging the shallowness of the water.  She suffered a fracture between the fourth and fifth cervical levels and became a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down.
During her two years of rehabilitation, according to her autobiography, she experienced anger, depression, suicidal thoughts, and religious doubts. However, Tada learned to paint with a brush between her teeth, and began selling her artwork. To date, she has written over forty books, recorded several musical albums, starred in an autobiographical movie of her life, and is an advocate for disabled people.
I heard her speak here in Japan a few years ago.  She would dream of being healed and was disappointed not to be handicapped when she woke up.  I think that would be a normal dream!  She also sought out Jesus.  She and some of her friends went to a number of healing services and sought that healing.  She prayed—others prayed.  And then, she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2010!  She emerged successfully from cancer surgery and has a positive forecast.  Jesus touched her.  Still with the handicap but free.
Same with Kanae Miyahara’s new husband, Nick Vujicic—born without arms or legs. He is married and he surfs (here with a young lady who had a shark bit off her arm) and plays golf and swims and this couple are having a baby later this year!
Our lady in today’s passage was very much desperate.   My life is over! 
I am amazed that she had not taken her own life.   She must have thought about it—maybe? 
But she held on to life for 12 years of this bleeding saying now, “If only I could touch His hem!  I know I could be healed!” "きっと直ると考えていた".  How could she know that or even had a wish for that kind of healing?
Nothing in her past shows us that such was the case.  12 years is a long time to live with a serious problem.  She was getting weaker by the day.  Now, she hears that Jesus is coming into her village.  She talks herself into going to see Him.  She could not walk up to Him as that would be against her Jewish teaching.  She could not approach a man she had not known.  She could walk behind Him and reach out and touch His garment. 
Would that be enough? 
In the past and in the encounters Jesus had with healing, He would touch the sick or dead person—or at least speak to them.  Here, she alone wanted to be the one who could touch—because of her unclean condition.  She still—after all that has gone on in her—was aware of her station in her society.  She was a cast off.  Someone no one would want to associate with.
So, she reached out and … Mark 5: 27… touched His cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch His clothes, I will be healed. 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
She knew—she felt the difference.  She was no longer held in Death’s grasp.  She KNEW she was freed from her 12 years of suffering!
How would you have felt? 
You got this pain and you wish it would go away.  You got this situation—this person who bothers you—a debt that is too big to pay off—a deed you suffer over and   … & it goes away.  
Not there any more!  Gone! You would be glad?  Happy?  Excited?!
And Jesus stopped and said: “WHO TOUCHED ME?”  There was a touch of Faith and a touch of Grace.  He knew someone with Faith had touched Him.  No question there.  But who was it? 
That person needed to come forward!       Why?
When Jesus does something for you, it is a very good idea NOT to keep that a secret.  It is time to broadcast it.  Tell others.  It is very much like when He touched you and you found your sins forgiven. 
You KNEW it was goneそれは消えていた!this guilt of sin.  You knew inside of your heart that you were set free. 
You knew but sometimes forget, that you no longer need to worry over your past.  Jesus took care of that by sending it away as far as the East is from the West.  Gone from His sight and gone from His memory—never to remember it ever again!  That is the Cross of Jesus!
That is from His side and that is the side that really matters!
But Jesus senses things most of us cannot sense.  His timing is different from others'.  He is able to deal with many realities at once. 
At this point He knows that someone who had come near to Him had done more than get a glimpse of Him.  His Spirit had ministered to them.  He knows that power has gone out from Him. 
And now He asks who it was. She comes forward and tells it all. 
In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed.
God gets the Glory!  神は栄光を得る!
And then---even more wonderful than what just happened, Jesus says: 48 Then He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.
Other translations say it a little different and I like it so here goes: From The Message: 48 Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting Me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
Complete Jewish Bible 48 He said to her, “My daughter, your trust has saved you; go in peace.
J.B. Phillips48 “Daughter,” said Jesus, “It is your faith that has healed you—go in peace.”
Amplified Bible48 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).
That is the result of a Touch of Jesus.  イエスがふれる
To have the Jesus Touch, you can enter into a rest with great confidence.  To have the Jesus Touch, your confidence and trust would be in the ONLY ONE who could touch such a bleeding woman and bring healing.  
In response Jesus issues a simple commendation: " Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace. He makes her faith an example, timid as it was.  The one with faith does not need to fear approaching Jesus and His authority.  He is accessible and available.  Both the woman's faith and her testimony are commended in Jesus' response. 
Faith trusts in God's ability to meet our needs by His power.  God honors such faith.  Do you have that kind of faith?
To make matters worse, now a man from Jairus's home shows up to announce that it is too late.  With this next on-going story, Jesus is the ONLY one with the authority to bring someone back from the dead.  Before this incident with the bleeding woman, a request for Jesus was made to help with a dying daughter. 
Imagine this: Jesus stops to heal a woman of a nonfatal condition, and as He delays, a young life of Jairus’ daughter is snuffed out.  Where is justice in that?  
Don’t trouble the Master, the girl has died 
People were crying and were set to mourn for a while.  Professional criers were there and people said, She is dead!  Sometimes the majority is wrong.  Jesus tells the child to arise.  Like the only son of the widow of Nain, the daughter rises to life as her soul returned.  Immediately Jesus requests that she be given food.  Amazement grips the parents.
 Jairus' invitation to Jesus to heal, an act of faith, had revealed that Jesus had power over death as well as sickness.  Jesus urges silence, even though what He has done was obvious.  His goal is not to become a traveling Palestinian miracle show.  His ministry is not about such displays of power and of honor, but about what they represent.  He knows that miracles would become the major interest, not new life and the basic issue of who it is who can heal a woman and raise a young girl from the dead.  
Jesus has taught a major lesson: faith means understanding that Jesus has the power to deliver life and that his timing and sovereignty can be respected.  
All Jairus' earlier pain and frustration have been transformed into a new perspective that merges faith with Jesus' authority.  他の女の子は死んだ..しかし.
In fact, this is the lesson of all four miracles of Luke 8:22-56: God's power is absolute.  Death is not the chief end of humans.      
 Trusting and knowing God is the chief end! 信頼して、神を知ることは最高の終わりだ!
The end of the story is that Jesus knew about the bleeding and He knew that the delay in coming to the ‘rescue’ of the daughter would lead to death of that child but He went to her home any way. 
Why: To show and to prove His authority. 
The lady who bled waited 12 years for healing—for a touch of Jesus. The young girl—maybe 12 years old as well, waited in death for His saving touch.  

Are you waiting for something like that? Are you waiting for Him to touch your life, your situation, your pain, and your relationship? All in His timing, all in His time.  Question is: can you wait for His touch?  Trust Him.  He will never let you down!