Your Faith Has…..Go in Peace

I was asked to speak at the Women 2 Women Easter Brunch.  I was really only asked to give a quick five-minute “What the Bible Study has meant to me” type of thing.  And honestly, that’s what I thought I’d be saying as I laid my head on my pillow the night before the Brunch.  Then the next morning, as I was looking through the workbook that goes with the Beth Moore study my group was doing, God shanghaied the whole thing.The study is Jesus the One and Only.  It follows the life of Christ from Birth to Resurrection.  Two stories of Christ’s interaction with two very different women jumped out at me.  The woman with the Alabaster jar who anoints Christ’s feet, washing them with her tears and wiping them with her hair, and the woman with the issue of blood.In the first encounter we find Christ at dinner with the religiously correct.

Luke 7:36-43; 48-50
36 Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table.
37 When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume,
38 and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.”
40 Jesus answered him,”Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said.
41 “Two men owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.
42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he canceled the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”
43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.
48 Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The other guests began to say among themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?”
50 Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

There are just a few things I want to draw out of this encounter with Christ.  First is the world’s view of this woman.  Simon’s thoughts in verse 39 make it very clear what the town thought of her.  The words translated “what kind”  are from the Greek words poios  “what” and dapedon  “soil” meaning literally what dirt.  You can also see in her weeping that she bought into this view of herself.  Christ goes on to deal with Simon’s assumptions then turns to the woman and says, “your sins are forgiven.”  Further he says to her “Your faith has saved you; go in peace”

In the very next chapter of Luke we see Christ’s encounter with the woman with the issue of blood.

Luke 8:42b-48
42b  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.”

Here we find Jesus on his way to Jairus’ house, a ruler of the synagogue, to heal his daughter.  On the way, Christ is touched.  You’ll notice the astonished attitude of Peter,  people are all around and you want to know who touched you?  EVERYONE is touching you!  But Christ knew someone had touched Him in faith, had connected to The Source.

This woman was an outcast, according to Jewish law, she was unclean.  She wasn’t to touch anything or anyone.  Yet she was so desperate for a touch from God that she crawled up to touch the hem of Christ’s cloak.  After 12 years, wouldn’t you be desperate?  I know I would.  However, the most touching  point of this whole encounter isn’t in her desperation, but in Christ’s reaction. Feeling power go out of Him (v 46) He stops. Why did he bother to stop?  She was immediately healed, that’s all she wanted.  Why did Christ need to draw attention to her.  Surely, it was embarrassing for her.

Beth Moore thinks it was to give her peace and I agree.  If Christ had not called her out and let her know that what she tried to do in secret He knew about and not only did he know, but it was okay, she would have forever felt she has stolen her healing.

How often do we feel we have stolen precious moments in our lives?
Don’t feel as if we deserve what we have?
We don’t.  Not one of us has what we deserve and praise God for that.

There are three views of each of us, 1) how the world sees us 2) how we see us 3) how God sees us.  Of those three, which do you think is the one that really matters?

But Christ is saying, “I give it to you with my blessing, Your faith has accomplished what you set out for it to accomplish.  Go in peace and enjoy what you have been given.”

I know that I have been called to do just this, speak to women.  I don’t know yet how God is going to bring it about, but I jump at every chance I am given.  Usually I am just as blessed by whatever it is God gives me to share.  I hate speaking in front of people, I start shaking and there is a tremor that runs through me the whole time.  I’m told it doesn’t come through in my voice, but I feel it.  Yet I can’t NOT speak when given the opportunity, and there are times when I’m not given the opportunity and I itch to go and grab the mic anyway.  That is definitely a God thing.  I think He calls us to that which we would never dream of doing under our own power so that we will know deep in our very being that it is only through Him that we will accomplish it.
So what have you been called to do that scares you?  How have you begun to step out in it and rely on Him?

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