Friday, January 6, 2012

Passion 2012: Session 2 - To Be Made Clean

Tuesday morning. I woke up still reeling from Louie's message on Monday night. I immediately turned my computer on and pulled up session one and watched it over again before it was time for session two. God is doing crazy things in my heart right now. I can't tell you the last time I've cried this hard. Every time I hear the voices of 45,000 college kids just lifting up the name of God...or every time the camera zooms out and shows 45,000 college kids in complete abandonment to what God is doing in their lives...and to be led by men such as Louie Giglio, Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, Kristian Stanfill and others...it blows my mind and I am just moved to tears to see God working in front of my very eyes.
Beth Moore taught Session 2 on Tuesday morning. I've heard a lot about her but I'd never actually heard her speak. God spoke through her in an amazing way and I was touched beyond what words can say by the message that was brought. She opened by saying that this was history in the making...we are witnesses and participants of history right now in this very place, the next decades are being profoundly affected by what God is doing right now. And if we were to take God up on everything he came to sow into our lives, it will alter history completely to the great glory and the fame of Jesus Christ. He won't force it on you but he invites you to be a part of something so great that we couldn't even begin to imagine it. (1 Corinthians 2:9 "What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.")
Luke 8:40-55 Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. And there was a woman who had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. And Jesus said, "Who was it that touched me?" When al denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!" But Jesus said, "Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone our from me." And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. And he said to her, Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace." While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler's house came and said, "Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more." But Jesus on hearing this answered him, "Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well." And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said "Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But taking her by the hand he called, saying, "Child, arise." And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat.
This is a narrative within a narrative. The story of Jairus and his daughter completely surrounds the story of the woman...it begins and ends with Jairus. We are looking at a holy and divine interruption that is accounted for in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Both stories have been twelve years in the making. The little girl's 12 years have flown by so quickly but the woman's 12 years have dragged on.

To most, the priority would seem to be the dying daughter of Jairus. The interruption didn't seem nearly as important. Our lives are sandwiched in between a greater narrative. We are surrounded by a much greater need. 27 million on this planet are slaves...it is a much greater need...and it's easy to think that in comparison to that statistic, our problems are nothing. But in this story, Jesus stopped long enough to care for her even though no one would have called her problem the priority. We think that there are far greater troubles than ours and that an infinite God has a finite attention span, finite expertise, finite resources, or finite compassion. You cannot use God up! No matter how much greater you perceive someone else's problem. Verse 47 tells us that ou cannot go unnoticed by God. We are not hidden before him. It is impossible for us to hide from him. Christ knows everything about you, every little trouble, every big problem. He will always top and care for you.

This story is uncomfortable to talk about...but it loses its power if it loses its discomfort. Most of the time, the greatest need we have for healing, is something intensely private. We are as sick as our secrets. We tend to hide our greatest needs and we hide because of our fear of social embarrassment. We don't like to tell people about addiction, habits, hurts or crimes...we hide the things that need the most healing. It is in the most secret places in our lives that we need the most healing.

Defiled. This woman was considered defiled. Say the word out loud...DEFILED. Can you imagine being labeled as Defiled?
Numbers 19:22 And whatever the unclean person touches shall be unclean, and anyone who touches it shall be unclean until evening.
Anything or anyone she touched would become defiled along with her. She couldn't even go into public because of the risk she posed to others. We have all been defiled by this world's system. Sexually, mentally, verbally, and emotionally defiled. We are called to be a clean people in an unclean world that we cannot escape.
Isaiah 6:5 And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.
There is something in Mark's account that he emphasizes that is important.
Mark 5:27-28 She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If I touch even his garments, I will be made well."
She knew that one touch on just the hem of his garment and she would be healed. She was willing to risk making everyone around her unclean. She was willing to risk making Jesus, the Master, the Teacher, the Savior, unclean. But that's the beauty of this story! You cannot be unclean enough to mes Jesus up!!! Your life cannot be messed up enough to stain him or defile him in any way! He is clean enough for all of us!!!
Numbers 15:37-40 The LORD said to Moses, "Speak to the people of Israel, and tell them to make tassels on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and to put a cord of blue on the tassel of each corner. And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments for the LORD, to do them, not to follow after your own heart and your own eyes, which you are inclined to whore after. So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your God.
 The garment that Jesus was wearing would have these tassels on it. The hem(some translations use the word 'fringe') that the woman grabbed onto was the very thing that represented his spiritual purity and cleanliness. If someone was slipping through a crowd, pressed up against the people around him...how hard would it have been to grab onto him unless he had something to grab onto. He made himself easy to grab! Instead of him being made unclean, he made her clean!
Acts 11:9 What God has made clean, do not call common.
Jesus is not slippery or slick...he is easy to grab onto! He didn't come to earth to be reachable - he came to be touchable!
Luke 24:38-39 And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see."
In Luke 7, there is a story of a sinful woman who comes to anoint the feet of Jesus. The Pharisee thought to himself that if Jesus were really a prophet, he would know the kind of woman she was. But that's the thing, he knows us! He knows who we are and he still picks us and wants us to reach out and grab onto him! It's easy to feel lost, or like everyone else is experiencing God and you are just sitting there waiting to feel something. But you don't have to sit there and wait for something to happen...have faith enough to reach your hand out and grab onto him! Isaiah 6 says that the train of his robe fills the temple. There is enough hem on that garment for everyone. There is enough of Him to go around. There is enough for everyone who is willing to say, "I need healing in the most personal, private way. In the way I am most ashamed of, that is where I need healing."
Hebrews 10:19-23 Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.
Let us draw near. I understand feeling unclean. I understand having the kind of conscience that keeps condemning you. As long as you feel unclean you won't let Him do what He came here to do for you in your life. When it talks about his blood sprinkling you it is a picture of the cross. Jesus on the cross, a crown of thorns on his head with blood dropping down off of his face. In order for you to be sprinkled clean...in order for your heart to be touched by his blood...you have to stand right up under the cross with your head up and your heart out. Don't hang your head because it hides your heart from the cleansing blood of Christ. Right now...look up so you can be cleansed and prepared for everything Christ has for you!
2 Peter 1:8-9 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
You will cycle in and out of defeat...sin, repent, repeat. You keep believing that you are the same broken person and every time you will go right back to where you were. When you are aware of having been cleansed by Christ, the last thing you want to do is go roll in the mud again. When you go back to the cycle of defeat, you've forgotten that you have been cleansed! Hold your head up and let him cleanse you! Don't forget that you have been cleansed!

Going back to Luke 8...Jesus is in the middle of a huge crowd that is pressed up all around him. I always envisioned a crowd so thick it is suffocating...near being trampled. Even in that tight of a crowd...Jesus says, "Someone touched me." Not just anyone...a someone...he felt it...When you receive the work of the cross...when you receive healing and wholeness...he feels it too!

In verse 48 she came before him and told the story. For her to make her public profession of faith, to say she had been healed means she had to say she had been unclean...to say she had been saved means she had to say she had been lost. For us to say that we have been delivered means to say that we have been bound up...and that is the humility that is inherent in the gospel.

Jesus said that her faith...not her touch...her faith had made her well. It was her faith that drove the touch that welcomed the healing. Go before him full of faith...he can and will work within your life in such a way, not only to affect you but to affect your entire sphere of influence. Have the faith to say I'm going to grab onto you and he will make himself touchable. Grab onto him and you will be made whole. You cannot consume him...but he can consume you.

I'm realizing that God is so touchable...the Bible is full of stories of how he reached out and touched humanity...literally...Louie's message last night told of when he reached out and touched a dead man, something the religious leaders couldn't do...and tonight's message about one touch healing this defiled and unclean woman. He proves over and over again that no one is beyond his reach...no one is too lost or too unclean or too messed up or too dead for Jesus. One touch can change everything. Praise God!

One Touch
by Nicole C. Mullen

Been ostracized for 12 years
I'm used to being alone
Spent everything I had
And now it's gone
I'm used to being put down
My issues tell it all
My only hope is anchored
In this fall

If I could just touch the hem of His garment
I know I'd be made whole
If I could just press my way through this madness
His love would heal my soul
If only one touch

So many people calling
How could He ever know
That just a brush of Him
Would stop the flow
If he knew would He rebuke me
Or shame me to the crowd
Well I'm desperate 'cause it's never or it's now

Suddenly He turned around
He said somebody has unleashed my power
Well, frightened and embarrassed I bowed
You see I told Him of my troubles
And how...

I had to touch the hem of His garment
And I know I've been made whole
And how I had pressed my way through the madness
And His love has healed my soul

Then with one word He touched the hem of my garment
And you know I've been made whole
And somehow He pressed His way through my madness
And His love has healed my soul

I tell you He touched me
He reached way down and touched me
When no one else would touch me
Jesus, shol' 'nough He touched me...
And I know I've been made whole

No comments: