Most of us already know the
Hebrew word shalom. If you wanted to greet someone
in Hebrew, you would say, "Shalom." When you leave
someone you don't say, "Later, Dude," or all of
the American stuff we've come up with. You simply say, "Shalom"
-- "Peace!" This is the word Jesus used in Mark
In the context of Mark 5:21-24,
Jesus had been in Capernaum on the western shores of the
Lake of Galilee. He had sailed southeast to the Gentile
section of Galilee and healed a demoniac. When the people
of the region begged Jesus to leave them, He returned to
Capernaum. Here he was met by a distraught father; but before
He could deal with Jairus' problem, a needy woman sought
to touch Him.
"And a woman was there
who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years."
-- Think about this woman in the context of first-century
Judaism. Religious law (see Leviticus 15) had very serious
regulations concerning hemorrhaging. The laws of bleeding
not only made the woman herself unclean, but whatever and
whomever she touched also became unclean. The result was
embarrassment, isolation, and religious stigma. Before we
think this was too horrible, remember that in biblical times
people didn't have the medicines and medical knowledge we
have today. But additionally, there was fatigue. Physicians
tell us when you lose more blood than you are able to create,
you become anemic. This woman was tired, fatigued, exhausted.
"She had suffered a
great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent
all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse."
-- The Talmud, the collection of ancient Jewish law and
tradition, suggested eleven specific cures for bleeding,
including sitting at a crossroads with a cup of wine, and
waiting for someone to come from behind to frighten you.
This woman had tried every cure and spent all she had on
doctors who, at that time in history, were scorned and,
in this case, ineffective.
"When she heard about
Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His
cloak, because she thought, 'If I just touch His clothes,
I will be healed.'” -- Her touching Christ was an
incredible act of courage. According to the law, whomever
this woman touched became unclean; yet she reached out to
touch the Lord, to touch His robe. "If I can just touch
Him," she said to herself, "I know I will
"Immediately her bleeding
stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from
her suffering." -- Two miracles occurred here:
(1) her bleeding stopped; (2) her strength returned instantly.
"At once Jesus realized
that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the
crowd and asked, 'Who touched my clothes?'” -- When
you begin touching people at the point of their need, there
is a cost, a drain of spiritual power. Nothing fatigues
God's people quite like preaching, teaching, or ministering.
"'You see the people
crowding against you,' his disciples answered, 'and yet
you can ask, 'Who touched me?'' But Jesus kept looking around
to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had
happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling
with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, 'Daughter,
your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from
your suffering.'" -- Instead of being irritated,
Jesus looked at this poor woman as a father would his daughter.
He said: "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in
shalom." This is the word I want you to remember.
It inferred wholeness of body and soul. It implied living
a life in harmony with others, to live with the fullness
and the wholeness of all of God's blessings.
In Numbers 6:22, the rabbis
believed that the giving of peace was the climax of God's
blessings. Here was a woman isolated from her family, friends,
and religious community. Jesus looked at her with fatherly
compassion and said, "Daughter, go in shalom.
When you go back to your house, you go to your house in
peace. When you eat with your family, you eat in shalom.
When you talk, you talk in shalom. When you hug,
you hug in shalom. Go in shalom." He
was bestowing on her all God's richest blessings (see Isaiah
When Jesus says to you and me, "Go in peace,"
He is saying, "Go back to your family in harmony. Recognize
that once you were unclean, but now you are clean; you are
literally under all of the blessings of God. Go in joy;
go with celebration. Go in shalom."
In these days of incredible busyness, where is this shalom
available? It's available from only one place. Isaiah 9:6
says: "And His name will be called..."
This woman had sought the advice of rabbis and doctors to
no avail, but Jesus had just the words and power she needed.
Perhaps you've been spending a lot of money for help and
advice instead of just listening to the Lord and His Word.
As did this woman, so you should also turn to the Lord Jesus,
seek His counsel, touch the hem of His garment, and receive
the power of His healing.
Only God could have done for her what Jesus did. Only God
can bring genuine healing and wholeness.
Jesus said to her, "Daughter...." He is for us
a compassionate "Dad."
Prince of Peace.
Where can we find this shalom? Only in Christ, the
Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father,
the Prince of Peace. Come to Him today and listen to Him
say to you, "Son, daughter - go in shalom."
Annie Sherwood Hawks, 37, a
housewife in Brooklyn, New York, looked out her window on
a brilliant June morning in 1872. Though busy taking care
of her three children, she felt a reassuring sense of God's
presence. "I wonder how anyone could live without Him?"
she thought to herself. "How could anyone face pain
or experience deep and abiding joy apart from Him?"
Almost without thinking about
it, she composed a few lines of verse in her mind. She jotted
them down quickly between chores, and the next Sunday she
handed them her pastor, Rev. Robert Lowry, apologizing for
their simplicity. Lowry put the words to music, but neither
of them dreamed of how widely their simple little hymn would
need Thee every hour, Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine, Can peace afford.
I need Thee, Oh, I need Thee; Every hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior, I come to Thee.
Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters
by Dr. Ken Lovelace. All rights reserved.