I genuinely love cleaning. It is the feeling of seeing the results of your work appear before your eyes and having something fresh, that gets me. What does this passage have to do about cleaning?
Luke 8:40-56 (focusing on 42b-48)
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.
45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”
46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”
47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed.48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.”
50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”
51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.”
53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat.56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.
The first woman in this passage has been subject to bleeding for 12 years. That is a long time to be suffering from such physical pain. However, there is so much more than just the physical pain happening here. The law labels her as “unclean”, which we can read further about in Leviticus 15:25-27. Anything, or anyone, the woman touched was then considered unclean and had to undertake a process to make them clean again. The woman would have had to live apart from her family and would not have been able to take part in any Jewish ceremonies. We read that no one could heal her (Vs 43). She has been isolated for 12 years. I cannot even imagine how lonely and isolating those 12 years would be.
What is remarkable about this woman is that she must have heard about Jesus and his miracles and she boldly, but also humbly, approaches him. She believes that he has the power to heal her. Just a touch of his clothes in a crowd of people and she is made completely clean. Jesus knew that the woman was the one that he had healed, and commends her for her faith. Instead of the law labelling Jesus as “unclean”, quite the opposite happens. Jesus was not made “unclean” through this encounter. Jesus heals the woman, making her completely clean.
The same is for us. Jesus cleans us of our uncleanliness. He takes it all upon himself at the cross, bearing the weight of mankind’s sin. Jesus has the power to heal physically, but he has something much greater than that – the power to heal spiritually and for us to be renewed and restored. Will you have faith like this woman to humbly approach Jesus and allow him do the cleaning in your life?
Head: What strikes you about this passage?
Heart: Are there parts of your life that you are not letting Jesus into? Why?
Hands: What can you do today to show that you are completely “cleaned” by Jesus? How can you live out your true identity in Christ?
“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1-3)
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10)
Thank-you for Jesus. May we keep our eyes fixed firmly on you and you alone.
A song to listen to: Gracious Redeemer
Ellen Wilcox- Creek Road Presbyterian Church- Carina