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Luke 8:40-48, “A Touch of Desperation" A Bible Study Devotion.

Luke 8:40-48, “A Touch of Desperation" A Bible Study Devotion.

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Published by Chris Vasecka

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Published by: Chris Vasecka on May 21, 2010
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07/01/2013

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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
 
would be very embarrassing for us. There was nothing she or anyone that she sought could do to cure her. There is nogood deed you can do. There is absolutely nothing that you can do to make up foryour sin and heal yourself.And most important of all, this uncleanliness separated her from her friends, family,and all of society. Sin separates us from God. God is Holy Holy Holy and cannot bewith sin. They are oil and water. So if you carry sin, you are separated from God. You will eventually be separated from everyone and God's society (Heaven.)So that is the problem, now back the story... This part is amazing... Put yourself inthis scene. When you see what happens here, you will see an "Oh Wow!" moment.Understanding this scene is what makes Bible study so incredible. There is a hugecrowd. People are everywhere. There are no body guards. There is no stage with apartition. There is just Jesus and tons of people all pressing together to get to him.It is a big mosh pit. Jesus is being touched and shoved and squished from alldirections. There would be no way for any of us to discern one shove from another. Jesus is not saying, "back off. Give me some room. I can't breathe here!" He is justletting it all happen. Then somehow this girl crawls through the bustling crowd andmanages to touch the very end of his "clothing." It is not even him that shetouches, just the end of his robe. Instantly Jesus stops and turns around, and says,"Who just touched me?" Imagine being there. Everyone looks around with adumbfounded look on their face. They look from one another as if to say, "duh."Finally one of them has the gumption to add, "...ah, Jesus, people are touching youall over..."However, this touch was different and of course Jesus knew that. This girl, after allelse had failed, finally decided to turn to God for healing. She thought, "If I can justtouch him, I will be healed." (Mark) She tried to fix her problem for 12 years andhad just made it worse. She did all she could and it was not enough. She finallyrealized that what could heal her was to fall on her knees and find healing with Jesus. Instantly her bleeding stopped. This is the only way to heal the sin in yourlife. There is nothing else that can be done. It is only through God's grace that youcan be made "clean." You can either learn the hard way and try yourself for 12-20-50 years, or you can learn the easy way from the example God gives us in this Biblestory. That alone is a good lesson, but there is one more thing and it is my favorite part of the story. Remember that she is "unclean." Anything she touches is "unclean."Nobody will talk to her, be with her, even acknowledge her, because in this society,they would then be shunned too. But what does Jesus do? This is the order in theBible: She touched him. She was healed. ...Then Jesus asked, "who touched me."He could have let her go and be healed in quiet. Undoubtedly she would not want

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