For November 8, 2020
There is a captivating biblical account recorded in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter Eight that is most inspirational,
Now a woman, having a flow of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped. And Jesus said, “Who touched Me?” When all denied it, Peter and those with him said, “Master, the multitudes throng and press You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” But Jesus said, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately. And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace” (Luke 8:43—48 NKJV).
For twelve years, this woman was disgraced having been considered “unclean” so that any person or object she touched was unclean as well. Under Jewish Law (Leviticus 15:19ff), if or when her discharge stopped, she was considered to be ceremonially clean after a seven-day waiting period. On the eighth day, she was then required to “follow the procedure for offerings as for a normal period, after which she could resume her place within society.”1
Imagine the emotional trauma she experienced associated with the rejection she faced from family, friends, church, and society; let alone the acute frustration and disappointment she was experiencing having “spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any.”
Then she heard that Jesus was coming to town.
Many of us today are dealing with similar disgrace, rejection, frustration, and disappointment from past failures. We may even have convinced ourselves that we “deserve” our plight and ill consequences because God “has to” punish us for the wrong(s) we’ve committed.
Sometimes the Enemy (Devil) will use our negative memories to perpetuate the lie we are worthless and cannot be reconciled to God; never to be loved or forgiven again. People who struggle here will say, “No one can love me or forgive me…You don’t know what I’ve done!”
God’s grace should always remind us that our past is immaterial since it has been erased and forgotten by the cross,
“He canceled the record of the charges against us and took it away by nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:14 NLT)
Thus, it should not surprise how when she came behind Jesus and touched the border of His garment, her flow of blood stopped—immediately! And how Jesus then reassures her, and us today that we are forgiven and accepted,
Be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace!
The Lord knows us better than we know ourselves. He is aware of those “secret” sins no one else knows about. Yet He is willing to love, accept, treasure, value, and forgive us. By the same token, we should be all the more willing to love, accept, treasure, value, and forgive ourselves.2
Jesus says He will not cast out those who come to Him (John 6:37). John tells us that when we genuinely confess our sin (by turning from our sinful conduct and turning to God and godliness) the Lord is faithful and just to forgive our sin and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
Our reconciliation with God is complete and eternal. We have been accepted into the presence of God and are no longer at odds with Him because of our sinful past. Romans 6:23 tells us that the wages of sin is death. In other words, someone had to die, and Jesus did. And thus, the latter part of that verse tells us that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Peace with God translates into a clear conscience that frees us from our past and opens new and exciting possibilities for our future. With His peace, we can express positive, constructive feelings toward God, others, and ourselves as we anticipate His very best for us in every situation.
Over time, our lives affirm there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ. We can grow in His grace by walking, not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit as Romans 8:1-2 teaches.
It is wonderful to know that Jesus loves us and that He does not condemn us when we come to Him for whatever we need. We need not carry any more past shame and guilt baggage. Others may yet condemn us, but He gives us a “clean slate” and treats us as precious in His sight—both now and forever.
What a Wonderful Savior!
- See: Louis Goldberg, “Leviticus.” Baker Commentary on the Bible, Walter A. Elwell, ed., 5th printing, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2008) 77
- Active participation in a recognized Christian clinical treatment ministry or a certified recovery program in conjunction with a Christian spiritual growth program within a local church can help us heal from the physical and emotional scars we sustained from an abusive past. It can also help us progressively escape the compulsive/addictive habits that keep us from reaching our full potential in Christ. Developing and maintaining a support and accountability network can help ensure we stay on a path that will lead us toward spiritual, emotional, and psychological healing and wholeness as well.