THE CASE OF THE RUINED WOMAN
Intro: The Bible is filled with impossible, hopeless cases. Situations and circumstances appear in the Word of God, and so very many of them appear impossible. There seems to be no solution. Storms, needs, deaths, sicknesses, and many other situations, that to the human mind are impossible, yet they are handled with ease by the power of a sovereign God.
This section of Mark’s Gospel is filled with several of those impossible situations. There is a storm, then a man filled with demons, and then a dead little girl. Jesus steps into every single one of these unimaginable situations and proves that He is more than capable of handling whatever happens.
One truth that demonstrates itself over and over in the pages of the Bible is the truth that God is more than adequate for every situation. There are no impossible situations with Him. There are no hopeless predicaments with the Lord! Your situation is not hopeless! Your storm is not hopeless! Your sin is not hopeless! Your sickness is not hopeless! Your lost loved ones are not hopeless! Nothing is hopeless with the Lord!
Our text describes yet another hopeless situation. Jesus is on His way to heal the daughter of a man by the name of Jairus. On the way there, He is surrounded by a great crowd of people. They throng Him and jostle against Him from every side. In the crowd that day there was a poor, weak, timid, dying woman who reached out and touched Jesus Christ. When she touched the Lord, her life was instantly, completely and permanently transformed.
There are people in this room today who need life transformations. You need someone to radically change the situations you face in your life. Those transformations can happen. One touch from the Lord can change everything! Let’s take a few minutes to consider this poor woman and her situation.
The facts of this story can help us when we face the hopeless situations in our own lives. Let me point out these facts as I preach about The Case of the Ruined Woman.
- v. 24-26 HER SUFFERING
- v. 25 Her Affliction – We are told that she suffered from “an issue of blood”. This literally means that she was hemorrhaging, or bleeding, from some place in her body. The word “issue” means “a flowing of blood”. The verb tense indicates that it was a continual flow of blood.
- v. 26 Her Anguish – A constant flow of blood would have caused her unbelievable suffering. Let’s take a moment to examine some of the areas in which she suffered.
- Her Physical Anguish – From the constant blood loss, this poor woman would have been weak and anemic. She would have been pale. She would have had no energy at all. The least of efforts would have worn her out. The word “plague” is the same word that is translated “whip” elsewhere. Her disease was like a scourge, constantly beating her down, day by day!
- Her Medical Anguish – We are also told that she had tried all the remedies of all the physicians of her day. We are told that she “suffered” under their care.
- Her Social Anguish – She was almost certainly not married, because through simple physical contact, she would have defiled her husband. If she had ever been married, her husband would have been probably divorced her. She could not work around others because of the danger of defilement. This reduced her to a life of begging scraps of food from a distance. Her condition left her on the fringes of society. In the eyes of those around her, she was no better than a leper.
- Her Emotional Anguish – Since the Bible says that she had been this way for 12 years, She has lived her life moving from one rejection to another. She is lonely, isolated and desperate!
- Her Religious Anguish – Under the Law, Lev. 15:19; 25-27, this poor woman was to be considered unclean. Anything or anyone that she touched was also considered unclean. As a result, she could not mingle with other people. Anyone who came in contact with her would be considered ceremonially defiled. She could not worship in the Women’s Court of the Temple, because she was unclean.
- Her Financial Anguish – The Bible tells us that she “spent all she had”. The doctors and their useless remedies had not helped her. All they had done was drain her bank account dry. She has been left penniless and destitute, with no husband or children to look after her.
- v. 26 Her Agony – After years of pain, worthless doctors, useless remedies, and shattered dreams, she has reached the place where she knows she is living under a death sentence. She will not get better. She knows that she will die from this disease. Her life is literally draining out of her body little by little, day by day, Lev. 19:11.
I wonder how many people can identify with this poor woman. Maybe you don’t have the same kind of illness, but like her, you are filled with suffering and sorrow. This nameless, suffering woman pictures two types of people:
- This woman pictures every person who does not know Jesus Christ as Savior. The lost are defiled by a blood disease. They inherited this disease from Adam, Rom. 5:12. This condition has plagued the lost person since they were born, Rom. 3:10; 23; Gal. 3:22. It is a condition the sinner can’t make better or change on their own.
- She is also a picture of that believer who is laboring under a heavy burden. Many of God’s children are discouraged and defeated today. You have tried everything in your power to get better. You have tried everything you know to fix your situation. You’ve read all the books, listened to all the preachers, and gotten advice from the best of sources, but you are no better. Your life is as messed up as it ever was. If that describes you, keep on listening, it may just be that the Lord has some help for your heart today.
- v. 27-28 HER SCHEME
Our text tells us about how this woman came to Jesus. This hopeless, broken woman devised a plan to meet the Lord.
- v. 27 Her Reasons – Somewhere, this poor woman heard about Jesus.
- v. 28 Her Resolve – She heard about Jesus, and she knew she had to get to Him. She came to realize that Jesus was her only hope! She believed with all her heart that if she could just get to Him, she would be healed.
She displayed her determination to get to Jesus by approaching Him in that crowd. As she elbowed her way through the people, she was causing ceremonial defilement for everyone she touched.
She showed desperation was taking a great risk, for if she had been recognized, she would have been subjected to public humiliation and ridicule.
She showed drive, because by the very nature of her disease, it would have taken all the energy she had to drag herself out of her bed to struggle through that crowd to get to Jesus. She was desperate!
Have you reached that place in your life yet? Have you come to understand that Jesus is the only hope you have? If you are in this building lost today, you need to get to Jesus!
There are some who are saved, but like this woman are burdened and defeated, need to touch Him as well. The sooner you come to realize that Jesus is the only person Who can help you, the sooner you can get the help you need! Listen what He says to you: Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15-16; 1 Pet. 5:7. Why should you carry that burden one more step? Why should you fight your battle even for one more minute? Why should you live defeated for another day? You don’t have to! Get to Jesus, He can and will help you!
III. v. 29-34 HER SALVATION
- 29 It Was Powerful – When she was near enough to Him, she reached out a trembling hand and touched His garment.
- Then, in that very instant, she received what none of the doctors or their costly and painful remedies could give her; she was healed! Instantly, she felt the change in her body. She knew she was a different woman!
- 30-33 It Was Personal – As soon as this woman touches Him, Jesus knows what has happened. He knows that “virtue” has gone out of Him. This is a word that means “power”. We get our modern words “dynamite” and “dynamic” from it. Jesus knows what has happened and He asks the question in verse 30, “Who touched My clothes?”
Of course, there were dozens of people touching Him and bumping into Him that day, a fact pointed out by the disciples, v. 31, but her touch was different; it was a touch accompanied by faith. Many touched Him, but only one touched Him with the fingers of faith!
Jesus could have let her walk away with physical healing, but He called her out because He wanted to give her more than physical healing. He wanted to move her beyond her superstitious faith. He wanted to save her soul.
When Jesus spoke to this woman, you will notice that she fell before Him in fear. This was the very reason she came silently from behind Him to touch Him. This was why she did not come to Him openly. She was afraid she would be rejected!
She needn’t have feared that! Jesus was not interested in humiliating her. He was not interested in driving her away from His presence. He was not interested in preaching her a sermon on uncleanness from the Law. He was interested in helping her with her problem! He was interested in saving her soul.
Jesus was on His way to heal the young daughter of a man named Jairus, v. 22-24. This little girl is at the point of death! As Jesus makes His way to this man’s house, He is surrounded by the surging crowd. Yet, in spite of the seriousness of His mission, Jesus takes the time to stop for this woman!
At this moment, the crowd might as well not even be there. The business of the universe was put on hold as Jesus turned His full attention on this poor, needy woman. To Him, the woman and her need were more important than anything else. She was the sole focus and center of His world and attention! This woman, cast out, uncared for, and unwanted, had caught the eye of God because she exercised simple, childlike faith!
Isn’t that a blessing? I believe that God, Who controls the path of every atom in every molecule in this universe, has time for you when you call on Him in faith.
Never fear that He doesn’t care about you. Never fear that He won’t receive you.
- v. 34 It Was Profound – His words confirmed what she already knew had happened! Notice that He calls her “daughter”. This is the only time Jesus ever calls a female by this name. The word signifies the fact that they are in a different relationship now. It is a word of tenderness; a word of peace; a word of acceptance.
She got more than physical healing that day. All her adult life, she has been an outcast, a nobody, dwelling in isolation and loneliness, living in the shadows of society, but now, she hears that she has been taken in by God! Her faith brought her into a soul saving relationship with Jesus Christ. One minute she was an outcast, the next she was in the family of God!
The word “whole” is the same word translated “saved” throughout the New Testament. It means “to be rescued from all harm and danger. To be kept safe and sound”. She got a whole lot more than she bargained for that day!
All those who come to Jesus get far more than they ever bargained for.
- We are children of God, 1 John 3:1-2.
- We have a home in Heaven, John 14:1-3.
- We are heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, Rom. 8:17.
- We have a new life, 2 Cor. 5:17.
- We are free from the power of sin to control and dominate them, Rom. 6:14.
- We are no longer God’s enemies, Rom. 8:7.
- We have been reconciled to Him, Eph. 2:12-19.
- We have been fully and forever forgiven, Col. 2:13-14.
- v. 34 It Was Permanent – He tells her to “go in peace”. His words let her know that she has done the right thing in coming to Him and touching Him.
She was well and she knew it, but these final words of Jesus, “thy faith hath made thee whole”, drive home the fact that she was finally and fully free from her plague. She was healed and life would never be the same again! Her battle with this dread disease was forever finished! She had received a brand new life from the hand of the Master.