Luke 8:40-48, “A Touch of Desperation" A Bible StudyDevotion.
Read Luke 8:40-48In this story we see two people who ask Jesus for help. For this study, we willconcentrate on the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years. It says that thiswoman was like this for 12 years and nobody could heal her. It says in Mark thatshe tried for many years, many different ointments, potions, doctors, etc and noneof them helped her. In fact, they made her worse. In this culture, this womanwould have been considered unceremoniously "unclean." She would have to dosome ritual to cleanse herself after she stopped bleeding in order to be acceptableto society. After 10 days, she could be considered "clean." Nobody could speak toher, touch her, be with her, acknowledge her, etc until she was "clean." Of coursein her case, the bleeding did not stop for 12 years, so she could not get "clean."She was a social outcast who desperately wanted back into society. We know thisbecause she tried many things to get clean. It says in Mark that it took all hermoney and she was at the end of the rope. Not only that, in this culture, it was not just her who was "unclean." Anyone who touched her became "unclean." Anythingthat she touched became "unclean." For instance, if she sat down on a chair, thechair was unclean. If someone else then sat on that chair, they would be uncleanand shunned from society for at least 10 days while they did the ritual to get clean. You can imagine how lonely she was and desperate for acceptance. Ok, so whatare we talking about here? One woman with her "unclean" problem? Yes. ...but weare also talking about me and you and everyone else that has a "sin" problem...Notice all the ways that her story is our story:Being "unclean" affected every part of her life. This followed her around where evershe went, who ever she talked to, whatever she did, the uncleanliness was there. Itinfected every aspect of her life. Just like sin in your life. This ailment of hers was degenerative. It progressively got worse and worse. Justlike sin will do. At first the sin is so small you might not even notice it. Then, afteryou give in a few times, it gets easier and easier to justify your actions until finallyyou become hardened to it. This uncleanliness was costly for her. It cost her all her money, all her relationships,everything she touched. Just like sin in your life will eventually do. If you donothing about your sin, in the end, it will destroy you. This uncleanliness was embarrassing for her. Just like sin in your life. Many timesour sin is something that only we and God know about. If other people found out, it