The reason why a lot of us aren't better is we haven't run out of human options yet. Dr. Tony Evans says, when we do, we realize faith in God is legit. See, that's when you know this thing is real.
When you've been dealing with it for 12 years, no human solution is suitable. Heaven opens up, and you see God intervene. This is The Alternative with Dr. Tony Evans. Author, speaker, senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, Texas, and president of the Urban Alternative. Too often, we think of turning to God as a last resort. When our backs are against the wall, the enemy is closing in, and we're fresh out of ideas. Well, today, Dr. Evans talks about taking a more heavenly approach to solving our earthly problems.
Let's join him. We're told that there is a problem, that there is a problem. Luke chapter 8 identifies the problem this way in verse 43. And the woman who had a hemorrhage for 12 years and could not be healed by anyone. The King James calls it an issue of blood. She's bleeding, and she's been having this problem with bleeding for 12 years. Now, if you are bleeding, your life is ebbing away.
Because the life of the flesh is in the blood. When Mark tells us the story, Mark tells us in Mark chapter 5 that she had spent all of her money on the doctors. So not only had this illness diminished her physically, it had diminished her financially.
But not only was it physical, not only was it financial, it was also spiritual. Because Leviticus chapter 15 verses 25 and following says that when a woman bled, she was unclean. She could not be touched. Which meant that the spiritual problem related to a social problem. Because if you touched her and she was unclean, you became unclean. So let's just put it this way.
I love the King James. This woman had issues, all related to the blood. She had issues. Mark tells us that not only did she have issues, but it says it got worse. Mark says she spent all of her money on the doctors, and after spending all this money, things were no better.
In fact, her condition was getting worse. Well, she hears that Jesus is in town. In fact, the preceding three verses says that Jesus was on his way to Jairus' house because he was an official in the synagogue and he needed help for healing in his own home with his daughter. So he got a man with a daughter. Jesus was on his way to heal him.
On his way, this woman with the issue intervenes. Verse 43 says she came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. Okay, then we've got a problem for 12 years.
Before we get into the details of this, I want you to notice something. Jesus fixed a 12-year-old problem immediately. If this lady could have gotten a hold of Jesus 12 years earlier, she wouldn't have had 12 years' worth of issuance that had gone unresolved.
This thing had accumulated, people had not been able to solve it, and it says immediately the blood flow stopped. She was healed. Now that's all Luke tells us. Luke just says she touched his cloak, she was healed. But when you look at Matthew, it says, Matthew chapter 9, it says she touched the hem of his garment. Luke says she said to herself, if I can only touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole. So this lady starts talking to herself. And she says, I've had an issue folk can't help me with.
Professionals can't heal. But if I can touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole. See, the synoptics, each gospel writer is giving you something from his perspective, and that's why when you read the different stories, you'll find a phrase or a word in one story. You won't find another story until you look at all three of them together to get the whole story and to get the rest of the story. So this woman comes to a conclusion.
People have not been able to help me. My money is funny. It's all gone.
I've still got these flowing issues in my life that are only getting worse. But there's something about Jesus. If I can touch the hem of his garment, I will be made whole.
To understand that, you have to go back to Numbers chapter 15, verse 38 through verse 40. Because Numbers verse 15 says, when you put on your robe, on the four corners of your robe, there should be a tassel. A tassel like graduates wear when they wear their graduation tassels. A tassel of blue. These tassels are to remind you of God's word. These hanging tassels are to remind you of God's word and God's commandments and God's expectations and God's demands.
It was God's word. That's the tassels. Every time those tassels are swinging as you walk, it was to remind you of God's word.
That's what Numbers 15 says. So when she says, if I can touch the hem of his garment, it would be translated to say, if I could grab one of them tassels. That's what she was saying. If I could grab one of those tassels. Now, what was the connection? She believed that if I grabbed, the word touch means to grab, if I grab one of the hem of those garments, I can get God's word to work for me. So this wasn't just grabbing the hem of a garment.
Now watch this now. The tassel is hanging at the bottom of the cloak. The tassel is at the bottom. So in order to grab a tassel, you got to get low. Tassel not up here on the shoulders. Tassel is at the hem of his garment. You got to humble yourself.
See, if you're still proud and you're not willing to get low to the tassel, then you can go for another 12 years and spend the rest of your money and still find no solution to your problems. But she said, I'm willing to go low and grab the tassel, that is, grab God's word about this situation. She says, I believe, I believe if I can get a hold of that word, it comes to her with the person of Jesus Christ. Because she wasn't grabbing anybody's tassel. She was grabbing the Son of God connected to the word of God.
The Son of God connected to the word of God. She says, I will be made well. So she expresses this statement of faith in Jesus's power based on the word to change her situation. She hadn't been able to fix herself for 12 years.
If you've got some hemorrhaging going on, and it's been hemorrhaging for a long, long time, for 12 long years, I just want to ask you, I'm not making a judgment, but I want to know, have you grabbed the tassels yet? Have you humbled yourself to grab hold of God's word to hear the problem? The problem is, as long as she had money, and as long as she had human options, that's what she would use. The reason why a lot of us aren't better is because we haven't run out of money yet, or we haven't run out of human options yet.
So because we haven't run out of money yet, and we haven't run out of human options yet, we'll still be satisfied with the hemorrhaging, with the bleeding that won't stop. When she ran out of human options, she grabbed for dear life the living Word with the written Word. What I'm trying to say is, when the living Word, Jesus, gets connected with the written Word, you've got the operative power of the Word. See, if you have the written Word and no living Word, you've got truth with no life. If you've got the living Word to the exclusion of the written Word, you've got life with no truth. But when you have the living Word and you grab hold of the written Word, you have life and truth. I've come to give you life and to give it to you more abundantly.
It says, immediately, she was made well. The hemorrhaging stopped. Now, let's go a little further. Verse 45, and Jesus says, Who is the one who has touched me? And while they were all denying it, Peter said, Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on you. But he said, Someone did touch me, for I was aware that power had gone out of me.
Watch this now. You can be part of the crowd and Jesus not release his power. And they said, There's a whole bunch of folk touching you.
All these people bumping up against you, all this crowd. What do you mean, who touched me? What was the fundamental difference between the lady who got touched and the thousands that were bumping up against him, or as he says, pressing against him?
But there's one fundamental difference. She was on her knees going low. They were standing up. She was touching the hem of his garment. See, they were standing up. They were part of the crowd, but she said, No, no, no, I gotta get low.
I don't just want to be part of the fan club. This lady had to press her way through the crowd. In other words, this lady could care less about how many people were there, who the folk were. She didn't care about that. She wanted Jesus.
She didn't want everybody to see her. Jesus says, Who touched me? Who touched me?
Peter says, The crowd is pressing against you. Jesus said, No, I was aware of someone who touched me. Dr. Evans will return in a moment to unpack Jesus' question and give us a couple of possible explanations for it. But before he does, I want to let you know that what you've been hearing today is just one installment in the new 20-part message compilation called Coming to the Comforter. This collection of messages from Dr. Evans helps us understand how to deal with problems and pain more effectively and honestly, and the entire series perfectly complements the insights found in Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting.
Together, these two powerful resources can help you discover what God wants you to learn during difficult days, how to find treasure in your trials, how to be made whole instead of just better, and how to develop stronger faith even in the midst of trials. We'll send them to you as our gift, and thanks for your contribution toward supporting Tony's ministry here on this station and other outlets like it around the world. Just visit tonyevans.org to get the details and make all the arrangements. Again, that's tonyevans.org. Or let one of our resource team members help you out overnight at 1-800-800-3222.
That's 1-800-800-3222. Well, Dr. Evans will come back with Part 2 of today's message right after this. Deep green forests, snow-capped mountains, breathtaking glaciers, eagles soaring overhead, whales breaching the surface of the ocean. It's a place abounding with natural wonders, a magnificent example of what our Creator can do. Few places evidence God's creative power like the stunning wilderness of coastal Alaska. And now you can experience it with us. Join Tony Evans and other friends of the ministry as together we discover the glory of God's spectacular creation on an unforgettable Alaskan cruise. Set sail with us to take in the splendor of God's creation along with the wonders of His Word. We'll enjoy great teaching from Dr. Tony Evans and other gifted instructors as well as life-changing worship and special musical performances. This spiritually uplifting cruise will give us time to relax, refresh, and refocus as we take a journey through Scripture while surrounded by the awesome creation that is Alaska.
Find out more about the Urban Alternative Alaskan Cruise at tonyevans.org today. Why wouldn't Jesus know who touched Him? Why wouldn't He? Well, one reason is He could be speaking out of His humanity and not out of His deity. If He's speaking out of His humanity, His humanity had to grow in knowledge. His deity did not.
Since He's God and man, sometimes He spoke out of His deity, sometimes He spoke out of His humanity. So that's one reason, that's one possible reason why He would raise the question. What is another reason why He could have raised the question? That He didn't raise the question because He didn't know. He raised the question because He wanted her to go public. Stick with me now.
I'm going somewhere. Verse 47 says, when the woman saw, she had not escaped notice. But wait a minute. If Jesus didn't know, she touched Him. The disciples didn't know she touched Him because they said, look at all these people pressing against you. Nobody else pointed out she touched Him. So who noticed that she touched Him?
What I'm suggesting is, Jesus was not saying who touched me because He was uninformed. He was calling her out. He was calling her out from her secret blessing.
Wait a minute. She had already been blessed because the story says she had been healed immediately. The blood flow stopped. In fact, Mark says she felt it in her body, in Mark 5, that the blood stopped. So she knew she was healed. But then Jesus said, we ain't finished.
It ain't over just because you've been blessed. Who touched me? When she saw, she had not escaped notice. That is, He knew who touched her. He was calling her out of the closet. He was inviting her to testify. He was inviting her to go public about what Jesus Christ had done for her when she saw and fell down before Him and declared in the presence of all. Oh, oh, oh. We're not talking about a secret agent saint.
We're talking about somebody doing public. She declared in the presence of all the people the reason why she had touched Him and how she had been immediately healed. So she testified. God has done something for me. It's amazing how many folks want to be blessed who have nothing to say having been blessed. They want God's goodness, but they won't tell nobody. They're decided about Jesus.
No, you come forward and you testify. Her hemorrhaging had stopped, but she had not yet been made well. So whatever the rest of the story was, it kept her from being well.
The word well means to be whole. See, God can bless you with a new house and you still not have a home. God can bless you with physical healing, but you still may be in mental anguish.
God can bless you with things that you can touch with the five senses and you still not be well. But when the relationship was established, but watch this, the relationship did not get established until she told him the rest of the story. According to Mark 5, she told him the whole story. See, the story that she told him when she grabbed the hem of his garment was simply a story about I need healing.
My body's not working. So God healed her. That wasn't the whole story. Girlfriend had some other issues in her life that had gone unaddressed and she wanted a relationship with God. Let me quote it to you. Let me quote it to you in Romans chapter 10. If you will confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God is raving from the dead, you shall be saved. For with the heart man believeth and he gets righteous when he believes.
But with the mouth confession, he says, it is made unto salvation. You know when she went public and confessed her faith in Jesus Christ, that was a whole other level of salvation. Cause now she not only had a body that worked, she had peace.
She had a life that worked. See, Jesus wants to do more than just give you stuff. He doesn't mind giving you stuff. He doesn't mind your body working better. He doesn't mind you being healed. I mean, he wants you to be better, but he wants you to be daughter or son. He wants you to enter into intimate relationship with him, not just get your blessing and go home. It was so unusual for power to leave Jesus that he had to call attention to this one.
Let me tell you what wasn't unusual, him getting the crown. You read the gospels, he's always got a crown going on. Everybody want a little something, something of Jesus, but you hardly ever see him talking about power left made because everybody wants to be part of Jesus' fan club and get things working better in their lives who don't necessarily want to be son or daughter. Wholeness of being. She not only felt better, she was better. Her testimony was a rebuke to the crowd. We've got a whole bunch of people sitting here who haven't been touched, but you've been to church. Testimony couldn't have been more perfect because she said, I don't know whether this can help me, but I'm gonna go anyway.
And Jesus touched her. Here is the one thing you want to look for, and I look for it regularly. And what I look for is watching Jesus over new things. See, that's when you know it's God. When your human options are gone, when there's no more contacts you have, when the bank can't help you, when there's no physical solution, when you don't know anybody who knows somebody who knows somebody who knows somebody who can help you, and watch heaven open up and God literally, the power come out from there. See, that's when you know this thing is real. When you've been dealing with it for 12 years, no human solution and soon, heaven opens up and you see God intervene. Dr. Tony Evans, talking today about how to be made whole.
And stick around for a few moments. He'll be back shortly with a closing thought. If you'd like to get a full-length copy of today's message, including material we didn't have time to present on the air, it's included as a part of that comprehensive 20-part series, Coming to the Comforter. As I mentioned earlier, it's yours as our gift when you help us keep Tony's teaching on this station with your generous contribution. For a limited time, along with 10 messages on CD and 10 as digital downloads, we'll also include one of the first copies of Tony's brand-new book, Hope for the Hurting. Just visit tonyevans.org to make the arrangements before this special offer runs out. Again, that's tonyevans.org. Or reach out to our resource center at 1-800-800-3222. Team members are standing by to help you day and night.
Again, 1-800-800-3222. Some people believe the Christian life is all smiles and sunshine and good times. On Monday, Dr. Evans will explain why, even though that's not true, there is treasure to be found in our trials.
Right now, though, he's back to wrap up today with his final comment. I want to invite you to two things today. Grabbing hold of Jesus' person while you grab hold of God's word. With that living word and that written word, join forces. God's power is ready to be released to stuff you've been dealing with for years that has not been resolved. And God's just waiting for you to go low and to yield yourself, myself, ourselves, to humble ourselves before Him and watch Him do this thing. The alternative with Dr. Tony Evans is brought to you by The Urban Alternative and is made possible by the generous contributions of listeners like you.
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