Concerning faith, correct belief, directing action, producing power, and becoming unshaken, …Mom asked about the woman in the crowd, who touched Christ’s hem, and Her Faith Made Her Whole. Rather than directly addressing Mom’s last comment, let’s recount the story. After all, it’s for conversations like this that this blog exists, isn’t it? Let’s talk story, …scripture stories:
To sum up the story, there was a woman who had issues (jokes). A woman had an “issue of blood” for twelve years. The most common understanding of an “issue of blood” is hemorrhage (natural or diseased). It had gone on for twelve years, and none of the doctors could fix it. All of this woman’s money had been spent on doctor treatments (we all know how doctor bills can pile up), and nothing worked. In fact, it was getting worse (Mark5:25-26).
To make a bad matter worse, Jewish law declares her as ceremonially unclean (Leviticus15:25-27), restricting her from participating in temple rites. Worse than her temple recommend being revoked, anything she touched became unclean too. In a crowded street, anyone touching her was also considered unclean by law- including Jesus.
“27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.
28. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole.
29. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”
Christ, looking around, said, “Who touched my clothes?” Those with him looked at him bewildered, as it was obvious that they were in a crowd with lots of people touching Christ. But, Christ spoke of who touched Him in a way that caused virtue to go out of Him. The exchange between Christ and the woman with issues (jokes) is interesting to consider, concerning faith:
“33. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”
The woman fearfully confessed what she had done, and that she was miraculously healed, she falls down and confesses all she did. She told Him all the truth (this is unknown what she told Him, leaving a gap to ponder). And this is when Christ responds, telling the woman that it was “HER FAITH” that made her whole.
The faith of the woman isn’t expounded upon, and is left for the reader to ponder. The material to consider, when pondering the faith of the woman, is in the set-up of the story, not in the miracle. The miracle is only the sign that follows faith, because faith doesn’t follow signs. Signs follow those that believe (Ether 4:18). She had a medical problem for 12 years, that doctors couldn’t fix, leaving her penniless. She was cast out as unclean, no access to temple rites, and if touched, her filth was communicable. In her humbled state, how would you deal with it?
I’ll venture to guess what she did in preparation, reflecting upon my own experience, dealing with life “issues” for almost twelve years now. From my own experience, I searched church authorities, programs, and counseling, and they’ve taken my money, only to offer no relief. I was cast out, and considered unclean, so to speak. Those associated with me, if they think as I do, are considered unclean too. I know, I know, it’s not about me, and I don’t think that her situation matches my own at all (a far stretch). But, hey, I’m flexible, so lets stretch a little, in effort to ponder this woman’s situation as best as we can. You know, trying to apply the scriptures? Hmmm, what a concept!
The leading question is, what would I do, if I were her, that would lead me to exercising great faith, to syphon virtue from Christ? I would have sought God in prayer, in study, in effort to become personally familiar with His words (especially when the brightest men have failed at helping me). Having been familiar with the teachings of God, I would recognize that Christ was the literal son of God, because the scriptures told me so. Despite the ridicule of uncleanness, I would exercise my faith by taking action, enduring the negative things others thought of me or how they treated me, to make my way to Christ. And when I saw Christ in the crowd of people, I would reach out and touch His hem.
That is how I see it, why Christ could honestly attribute the healing, to her faith. Her Faith Made Her Whole. That is not to take away any credit for the virtue that left Christ to heal her. Christ continually offers us His virtue. Our problem is our ability to receive it. How long would He have gathered you? The problem is you would not! The woman’s faith wasn’t something that just popped up out of nowhere, without correct knowledge, without action, and powerless. On the contrary, she correctly knew that Christ was who He claimed to be. She had practiced unbelief for 12 years, seeking to be healed of those who couldn’t heal. When she had correct knowledge and acted upon it, it produced power sufficient to be healed.
Conclusion: We cannot underestimate faith, disregarding the work necessary to produce power. Correct belief is absolutely necessary in order for action to turn into power. Until we have correct belief, we will always have “issues,” …even “bloody issues.” Your faith can make you whole, just as Her Faith Made Her Whole. Lets get faith right and follow Christ alone!