Luke 8:40-48  (NRSV)

40 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. 41 Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, 42 for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying. As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. 43 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians,  no one could cure her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. 45 Then Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” When all denied it, Peter  said, “Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.” 47 When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

Hebrews 4:16 (NRSV)

16 Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

DEVOTION – Kenneth John Marks (Oregon)

The woman described in the scripture reading for  today is one of my heroes.  Her bleeding disorder made her unclean according to the law (Lev. 15:19).  No one could touch her, and she could be punished for making another person unclean by touching him or her.  Out of her tremendous need, she put aside her pride and her fear of the consequences, boldly came up behind Jesus, and touched his cloak.  When Jesus turned to her, she fell to the ground, trembling at his feet, and declared to everyone why she had touched Jesus and that she had been healed.

As I picture the scene, I see Jesus bending down, taking the woman by the arm and saying, “Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in Peace.”

The scripture shows that if we are willing to humble ourselves before God, God will show us mercy.  Isaiah 30:18 (NIV) says, “The Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.”  If, like the woman Jesus healed, we leave behind our pride and fear and come boldly before God, we can be healed.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: What prevents me from coming boldly before God?

PRAYER: Dear God, call us nearer to you so that we might be healed.  Amen

PRAYER FOCUS: THOSE WITH CHRONIC ILLNESSES

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