"Own Your Needs: The Bleeding Woman" sermon by Pastor A.J. Houseman
She gets up this morning and something is just different. She can feel it . She can’t really say why yet but as she gets ready for her day she just knows.
See her life has been hard for a little while. One month her monthly cycle came and didn’t go. She was in pain and was cast out because she was just unclean all the time. And so she went from doctor to doctor trying to find someone who could help her.
And so she’s been alone now for 12 years. On her own and still stuck in the pain, still stuck as an outcast, and still stuck searching for answers.
But today something is different. She can just feel it. She goes out and someone tells her about a man who is coming to town. she’s vaguely heard of him before. His name is Jesus of Nazareth. Some say that he is a rabbi and some say he’s a little bit more than that. That he can do things, and he can heal people.
And so maybe she was just lost in her desperation or maybe she really did believe that he could heal her. But either way she decided she had to try. She was determined that today, this man, would be different.
So she heads to town and sneaks in amongst the crowd. Somewhere that she could get in a lot of trouble if the wrong people found her because, you know, of course because of her 12 year period she’s not allowed to be around other people. But she’s already decided that she doesn’t care. She is so desperate, so beyond desperate that she is coming for healing no matter what.
As she tries to approach him in the crowd it’s harder than she thought. There are a lot more people who came to see him than she thought. But she is determined. And she knows this is what I need and maybe if I could just touch even just the smallest part of him it would work. I would be healed.
And she feels it immediately that her pain is gone, that it has finally stopped. Uh oh, but he knows and all of those with him know she could be in trouble. But he simply says, “daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Like many women in the Bible we don’t get to know her name. We don’t really get to know anything about her. But still her story is so powerful that the Gospel writers need to include her.
It’s not just that her faith makes her well, it’s that she was determined to be healed. She took the initiative. She didn’t wait for someone to come to her with healing. She owned her needs and went for it. SHE sought out Jesus, SHE sought out healing, despite the rules, despite what she was told she could and could not do.
Her faith was her determination. That this guy, this guy could make her well.
How often do we own our needs this way? How often do we seek out what we need in our faith and from God? Rather than just waiting, waiting for it to come to us.
I know I am terrible at this. I have that good midwestern problem, “OH, I don’t want to bother them. I’ll be ok” thing going on.
Own your needs. I wonder sometimes if this is an important lesson we can get from the Bible. We hear it in a few different stories. How about when a group of friends lower someone through the roof to get them to Jesus? Or when the Syrophoenician woman brought her daughter to his feet for healing? Another woman who was not supposed to be there and came to Jesus anyways. I could keep going on.
Ask yourself, what do I need? Maybe it’s for you, and maybe it's for a friend or loved one. Own your needs.
Maybe it’s just some time to relax from the stress of work. Maybe it's quality time with family after a year of separation. Maybe it’s remission from cancer.
We all come to the table desperate and weary in need of just a small touch of Jesus.
Reach for them. And may God grant you a healing touch, a respite, and the grace and mercy of Christ’s presence. Amen.