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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood

 

Faith, Not Magic

He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34, NIV)

Matthew, Mark and Luke all record that Jesus addressed her as “Daughter.” Jesus never used the title of “Daughter” for anyone else except this woman who had suffered a bleeding condition for 12 years.

If He had called her by the title of “Mother” we could assume she was older than He was (at least, in terms of His earthly life). If “Sister,” then the same age range. But “Daughter” conveys the sense of being younger.

Had she suffered from this “subject to bleeding” condition since puberty? If she is young, it rearranges our idea of this event, for it shows a woman in her early to mid-twenties who has exhausted all her resources, knows she is getting worse, and has lost all hope but one.

She has lost faith in doctors — and anyway, they too had given up. Her cure lay beyond their expertise.

Perhaps her condition prevented her from being married; or, if married, kept her from having children.

Or, it could be that “Daughter” is just a term of endearment from Jesus to her and the word “daughter” may have been much on His mind as He wended His way through the crowded and narrow streets to Jairus’ little girl.

The woman’s wealth and health were exhausted. She was spent in every way. This moment, when Jesus came passing by, was her last hope. She presses through the crowd to touch His clothes, thinking that in doing so some power in Him would radiate out to her.

But Jesus immediately lets her know that it was not the magical touching of His garment that had brought the healing.

Uninformed or misinformed faith often attaches itself to some talisman of hope: “If I can just brush up against this holy artifact, or get to this shrine, or have a point of contact with this person who claims power — then my miracle will also come.” That’s misplaced faith.

Jesus lets her know that He understood the attitude that generated the touching of His clothes — the attitude of faith. So, He takes the time to help her understand that her healing did not result from some act of magic, the touching of His garment; but instead resulted from what she believed. Not magic, but faith, had resulted in her healing.

By transferring the source of her miracle to her own faith, Jesus diminishes His own role. He simply could have said, “I healed you.” Surely, she knew that; but He wants her to know that His action could not have taken place without her action.

A friend of mine who prays regularly for the sick and has witnessed many healings said to me, “If we don’t pray for healing, there’s a 100 percent chance none will occur.”

Jesus tells the woman to go in peace and that she is freed from her suffering. Thereby, He removes any doubt or anxiety that this healing is only momentary, or that it was illusory. He assures her that the repair in her body is permanent. She is now free to live to the very fullest.

The loving concern Jesus showed for the one He called “Daughter” is no different from the loving care Jesus has for you.


A prayer of response

Lord Jesus, I too have struggled with things over which I have no control. I reach out today to touch You in faith. Your gentle word comes also to me, “Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God. Visit On Your Mark at pe.ag.org for a link to On Your Mark video and audio podcasts with Dr. George O. Wood.

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.

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