“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”—Mark 5:25-34

The speed and pace with which the ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ unfolds in the book of Mark is amazing. No sooner is the Lord returned from healing the Gadarene demoniac in Mark chapter 5 than He is met by Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, whose daughter is at death’s door. Jairus pleads for the Lord to help but as the pair travel together there is an interruption in the story and another person takes Jesus’ attention. It is this dear lady who will also have our attention tomorrow.

Unnamed heirs

Have you ever noticed how often the Lord helps people who are unnamed in the Bible? Have you wondered why that might be? I feel sure it is to encourage us to see ourselves in these anonymous heirs of grace. In Mark 5 we have the Gadarene demoniac, Jairus’ daughter and the woman with the issue of blood. None named, all saved, all blessed with miracles at the Saviour’s hand. A man, a woman and a child each touched by the Master’s mercy. Why not me? Such passages give hope to us all that the same healing power might be mine.

Everyone’s need

But it is more, these individuals are every man, woman, and child. They speak of the ubiquity of sin, our universal enmity to God, our dead state without hope or help. They put us all under the condemnation of God’s holy law and describe the futility of every attempt to remedy our condition by ourselves. A man driven and possessed by devils, a woman twelve years under charlatan doctors, bankrupt and no better for it, a little girl dead in her mother’s arms. Do you see the picture and the importance; the necessity, of Jesus coming to save?

Who knew?

The healing of the lady with the issue of blood is unique amongst the Lord’s miracles, as far as I can think, for there not being done something immediately evident and obvious to those present and watching. The personal nature of this miracle meant that but for the Lord’s reaction upon being touched, and the woman’s testimony thereafter as to ‘what was done in her’ none watching would have known that anything had happened at all. But the Lord knew ‘virtue had gone out of Him’ and the woman knew ‘what was done in her’.

Grace that converts

This is a beautiful picture of God’s gracious dealings with a sinner in salvation. Grace is a secret, personal and hidden transformation that remains publicly unseen until confessed by the soul saved and converted under the gospel. Spiritual life comes powerfully, but it comes quietly, discreetly, and unannounced. So operates the quickening power of God on the soul of a dead sinner.

But grace does not and cannot remain hid. The effect of God’s grace and Christ’s healing power shall be made known. First by personal testimony, then by evident change. The woman coming and bowing to the Lord Jesus Christ ‘told Him all the truth’ and ‘what was done in her’. Just as God the Holy Spirit saves, God the Holy Spirit converts. Conversion is not a changed lifestyle because we have committed ourselves to Christ. Conversion is the alteration produced in a sinner by the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is the spontaneous outworking of an inward transformation.

Proof of life

Note one final thing. This change in the woman though known to her and complete in her did not remove all fear and trembling. Blessed humility! She bowed to Jesus, fell before Him and acknowledged His power and glory. Divine healing makes humble. Despite what you may feel, this ‘fear and trembling’ before the Lord is not a feature of unbelief but an evidence of grace, and a witness of conversion. Do you feel your sin? Do you fear for your soul? Do you tremble in the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ? Then you are a daughter of God, you are a son of the Father. Fear and trembling before the Lord is not a feature of the natural man. It is evidence of the spirit that wars with the flesh and a witness that we are truly saved. True believers approach God in awe and wonder, knowing what has been done in us.

Peter Meney


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