William J. Stewart
It had been twelve years. She was wearied and tired. She was sore and pain ridden. She couldn’t remember a time when she had not been troubled with this flow of blood. Twelve years. Twelve long years. All her livelihood had been spent on visiting physicians. Some of them came highly recommended, yet none were able to make her well. Rather, her condition continued to grow worse. In her desperation and hopelessness, she pondered the possibility of being plagued by this affliction until the day she died.
As she mulled in her sorrows, the Great Physician passed by. She had heard of His wondrous healings. She had heard of it, but could He…, would He…? ‘Why should He take time from His schedule to tend to me?’ she thought within herself. ‘What of worth do I have that I might offer Him?’ But she thought, ‘If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.’ And thus, she joined the vast multitudes who surrounded Him as He went on His way.
His journey this day took Him to one in need. Not a patient with aches and pains. Nor was it a lame individual who would after His visit rise up and walk. It was not the blind, nor the deaf or mute whom He would provide for. This patient was beyond the care of modern medicine, even our modern medicine! His task today was one that none other could perform. His service would be to raise one from the dead. Jarius, a ruler of the people had pleaded with Him to come. His daughter had just passed from this life, but he confidently said to Jesus, “…but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” Thus, seeing his faith, Jesus arose and followed him to his house.
“Who touched My clothes?” Jesus asked as He did an about-face amongst the crowd. His disciples, dumbfounded by His question looked about and remarked concerning the large horde that pressed against them. “He wants to know who touched Him?” Again, Jesus declared, “Somebody touched Me, for I perceived power going out from Me.” She tried to hide, but despite her efforts, the woman was unable to mingle herself back into the swarm of people. Trembling, she fell at His feet and explained her actions. She explained concerning her flow of blood, and enthusiastically revealed to Him that now, it was gone. In fear and reverence, she praised Him.
The Saviour softly answered, “Daughter, your faith has made you well.”
Again, the Saviour journeyed, this time past the city of Jericho. A man sat by the side of the road. This was a daily task for him. Day after day, he sat, waiting…hoping…begging. “A morsel of bread for an afflicted man,” he pleaded of those who passed by. “A dash of kindness for the needy.”
His daily needs were met. Some days better than others. Some days, the crowds were generous, others, barely a soul would stop. On this day, few would bestow unto him of their goods. Not that they were not able, nor that there were few people, for many flocked in the streets. The reason — Jesus of Nazareth was passing through the city of Jericho. The people would be very sparing in their giving today, for they would be preoccupied with the opportunity of seeing this great Teacher.
He himself had never seen the Master, but he had heard of His works. He greatly desired to see Him, but his infirmity would not allow him. Jesus’ presence would ring out for all to know, and Bartimaeus indeed would know when the Saviour was near, but he would not see Him. He would hear Him. No doubt, he would taste the dust rising from the sandals on His feet. He may even smell the aroma of His body as He would pass by, and perhaps even be blessed to the point that he might touch the Redeemer of mankind. But with his eyes, he would not see Him. But Bartimaeus hoped that might change this day. His greatest desire was that Jesus might heal him. That God’s matchless compassion would find him, and grant him sight.
Bartimaeus grew more excited. He could sense the enthusiasm building in the multitude. Jesus was walking by. He could not see Him, but he didn’t have to, he knew He was near. The Great Physician. The One whom God had sent. The One who with a word would be able to give him his sight. Thus, Bartimaeus cried out to Him, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
“Be quiet beggar,” some hollered at him. “That’s enough out of you.” “Don’t distract the Master.” “No more of that, you hear?!”
Not heeding the warnings given him, he continued. When the One who can make you well is within your reach, you don’t give up easily. Again, and more forceful, Bartimaeus pleaded, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy upon me!”
The people still tried to silence him. “No more, I say. No more!” “Enough, you hear?” “Hush, that’s all we need from you.” Then Jesus, having heard his despairing cry stopped. A stillness fell over the crowd as they intently waited for His words. Jesus commanded that this one who calls for His mercy be brought forth.
The people marvelled. Why would He stop? This was nothing but a blind beggar. A worthless member of society. Yet, He called for him to be brought to Him. Those nearby Bartimaeus said to him, “Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” Bartimaeus rose, and was brought before the Lord. “So Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What do you want Me to do for you?’ The blind man said to Him, ‘Rabboni, that I may receive my sight.'”
Jesus gladly answers the man saying, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And this having been said, Bartimaeus received his sight, and saw the Galilean who made him well. And he greatly rejoiced.
In both cases we have observed, and in countless others, Jesus refers to healings being related to one’s faith. See the faith of the woman tormented with the flow of blood, “…if only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” Why did Bartimaeus call out for the mercy of Jesus? Because he had faith that this Carpenter from Galilee was the Great Physician. Do you see a lesson from these two who were made well by the Saviour? A lesson for you and I, and every soul; for all are in need of a healing. I do not speak of the agonizing pain that comes with a back problem. Nor of the chronic headaches that may daily encounter you. This healing does not concern your feeble legs, nor your frail hearing, speech or sight.
We all require a spiritual healing. Why? We have a spiritual illness — sin. The method of healing; no medicine or ointment could correct the error. He could not merely speak the cursed disease away, nor could the laying on of His hands relieve us of our desperation. Peter remarks that Jesus, “…bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.” The only way to cure us of our sickness was to take it upon Himself. And thus, He did!
We need to understand that if we would be made well of our spiritual sickness, we must have faith. Note what the Hebrew writer penned, “For without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” The writer in no uncertain terms affirms that we “…must believe…” If the woman had not believed, she would not have touched His garment. If Bartimaeus had not believed, he would not have called out for His mercy. And neither would have received their healing either. For it was according to their faith.
Note Paul writes, “For by grace you have been saved through faith…” Paul tells us of God’s part — grace. Without grace, nothing else could be said. Grace is the principle ingredient in our being saved. Then he tells us of our part — faith. “…By grace you have been saved THROUGH FAITH…” We cannot save ourselves, but Paul says we have a part in it. Our salvation is related to our having faith.
Again, note the words of Jesus. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus tells us God’s part — “…He gave His only begotten Son…” And then, our part — “…whoever believes in Him…”
Have faith in the Great Physician, for it is of necessity. We cannot be made well unless we would be made well. Therefore, have faith. Thus, it can be said of you also, “Thy faith hath made thee well!”