Sabbath, August 6, 2011
“Many hold faith as an opinion. Saving faith is a transaction, by which those who receive Christ join themselves in covenant relation with God. A living faith means an increase of vigor, a confiding trust, by which, through the grace of Christ, the soul becomes a conquering power. Faith is a mightier conqueror than death. If the sick can be led to fix their eyes in faith upon the Mighty Healer, we shall see wonderful results. It will bring life to the body and to the soul.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 62.
Years of search for healing
1. What had one woman suffered for twelve years without finding relief?
Mark 5:25, 26 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.
“On the way to the ruler’s house, Jesus had met, in the crowd, a poor woman who for twelve years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent all her means upon physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 343.
2. What did she believe about Jesus?
Matthew 9:21 For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
Mark 5:28 For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
“But her hopes revived when she heard of the cures that Christ performed. She felt assured that if she could only go to Him she would be healed. In weakness and suffering she came to the seaside where He was teaching, and tried to press through the crowd, but in vain. Again she followed Him from the house of Levi-Matthew, but was still unable to reach Him. She had begun to despair, when, in making His way through the multitude, He came near where she was.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 343.
Faith in action
3. Having heard all about Jesus’ wonderful miracles, what did she do?
Mark 5:27 When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
“The golden opportunity had come. She was in the presence of the Great Physician! But amid the confusion she could not speak to Him, nor catch more than a passing glimpse of His figure. Fearful of losing her one chance of relief, she pressed forward, saying to herself, ‘If I may but touch His garment, I shall be whole.’” –The Desire of Ages, p. 343.
4. What happened immediately as a consequence of her touch of faith?
Mark 5:29 And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
Luke 8:44 Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched.
“As He was passing, she reached forward, and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. But in that moment she knew that she was healed. In that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and instantly her pain and feebleness gave place to the vigor of perfect health.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 343.
Testifying of Jesus and His power
5. What did Jesus notice? Humanly speaking, how logical was His question?
Mark 5:30 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?
Luke 8:45, 46 And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.
“With a grateful heart she then tried to withdraw from the crowd; but suddenly Jesus stopped, and the people halted with Him. He turned, and looking about asked in a voice distinctly heard above the confusion of the multitude, ‘Who touched Me?’ The people answered this query with a look of amazement. Jostled upon all sides, and rudely pressed hither and thither, as He was, it seemed a strange inquiry.
“Peter, ever ready to speak, said, ‘Master, the multitude throng Thee and press Thee, and sayest Thou, Who touched Me?’ Jesus answered, ‘Somebody hath touched Me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of Me.’ The Saviour could distinguish the touch of faith from the casual contact of the careless throng. Such trust should not be passed without comment. He would speak to the humble woman words of comfort that would be to her a wellspring of joy–words that would be a blessing to His followers to the close of time.” –The Desire of Ages, p. 344.
6. How did the Saviour’s words and searching love draw a testimony of gratitude from the healed woman?
Mark 5:32, 33 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.
Luke 8:47 And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.
“Looking toward the woman, Jesus insisted on knowing who had touched Him. Finding concealment vain, she came forward tremblingly, and cast herself at His feet. With grateful tears she told the story of her suffering, and how she had found relief….
“After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gifts which the gospel offers are not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. So the Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. ‘Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.’ Isaiah 43:12.
“Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 344, 347.
7. What comfort and assurance did Jesus give the trembling woman? What part did her faith have in her being healed?
Matthew 9:22 But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour.
Luke 8:48 And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.
Mark 5:34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
Personal question: How do you apply this principle in your life?
“Jesus gently said, ‘Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.’ He gave no opportunity for superstition to claim healing virtue for the mere act of touching His garments. It was not through the outward contact with Him, but through the faith which took hold on His divine power, that the cure was wrought….
“It is for our own benefit to keep every gift of God fresh in our memory. Thus faith is strengthened to claim and to receive more and more. There is greater encouragement for us in the least blessing we ourselves receive from God than in all the accounts we can read of the faith and experience of others. The soul that responds to the grace of God shall be like a watered garden. His health shall spring forth speedily; his light shall rise in obscurity, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon him. Let us then remember the loving-kindness of the Lord, and the multitude of His tender mercies…. And as we review His dealings with us in our pilgrimage, let us, out of hearts melted with gratitude, declare, ‘What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. I will pay my vows unto the Lord now in the presence of all His people.’ Psalm 116:12-14.” –The Desire of Ages, pp. 347, 348.
“But the suffering woman who touched Him in faith received healing. So in spiritual things does the casual contact differ from the touch of faith. To believe in Christ merely as the Saviour of the world can never bring healing to the soul. The faith that is unto salvation is not a mere assent to the truth of the gospel. True faith is that which receives Christ as a personal Saviour. God gave His only-begotten Son, that I, by believing in Him, ‘should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16. When I come to Christ, according to His word, I am to believe that I receive His saving grace. The life that I now live, I am to ‘live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.’ Galatians 2:20.” –The Ministry of Healing, p. 62.
For additional study
• The Desire of Ages, pp. 342-348
• The Ministry of Healing, pp. 59-63
Reaching out to the Saviour’s divine power, delay no longer, and exercise the touch of faith.