The Hidden Miracle

February 19, 2021
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Listen while you read: "Lead On O King Eternal"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 8:44 – She came up behind [Jesus] and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. (NIV)

Do you prefer to remain unnoticed in public settings? I do. It feels safer. There's less risk of experiencing humiliation. Yet, one desperate woman took that risk the day she snuck up to touch Jesus' garment. She preferred a quiet healing, but Jesus didn't keep it quiet! Why not? Why did He expose her before everyone, causing her to be terrified of a public shaming?

For years, I've been baffled over Jesus' behaviour. How could He do that to her? Couldn't He have taken her aside? After all, her bleeding disorder was intensely personal. It was also intensely shaming. It caused her to be ceremonially defiled, banished from religious participation. Furthermore, anyone she touched would become defiled. People would have kept their social distance. After enduring this for twelve years, her conscience was surely ingrained with one blazing message: "To avoid shame and rebuke, I mustn't step over the line. Stay in the shadows. That's my place. It's safer." — But not with Jesus!

Jesus drew her out of the shadows and turned her big no-no into a public affair. "Who touched me?" He asked the entire crowd. Interestingly, the word "touched" occurs four times in the Luke account. Why? What's the point? I now believe that Jesus was using the touching incident to publicly prove His identity as the promised Messiah. He was the One come to heal, to liberate, and also to abolish the old religious system. The woman was His visual aid. Instead of shaming her for defiling Him, He honoured her — publicly. What a shock that must have been to the onlookers!

Surely, the woman experienced two miracles: spiritual and physical. The spiritual one was hidden — certainly to me. I now believe that a quiet miracle within had freed her conscience from years of religious programming and its condemning power. Jesus freed her to hope again!

The woman was happily healed and restored to her community. But that could never have equalled the wonderful experience of her new personhood through Christ: She was now lovely in God's eyes, lovely in body and mind, blessed and honoured for her faith in Him. What a healing! What a Messiah!

What about you and me? For many of us, it's now socially unacceptable to acknowledge our Lord, even in many church settings. It seems safer to stay in the shadows — but not with Jesus! As for the woman, He calls us to step out amidst a world of skepticism and unbelief, to be testimonies of His healing power, to be His modern visual aids. Thus, we need our own hidden miracles within — the quiet renewal of faith.

Prayer: Lord of liberty, by Your Spirit's work within each of us, free us to step out of the shadows, unhindered by risks to our pride, that through our lives, we may be vibrant testimonies of Your presence, power, and merciful love. Amen.

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <d.eaton@bmts.com>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Loved your message today.


    Thanks for the encouragement, Diane.


    Thanks, Diane, for this encouraging devotional reminder. Blessings.


    Thanks, Diane. We’re studying this passage in my ladies Bible study…Women Who Encountered Jesus…so I will share this with them.


    Your comment of two miracles is giving me food for thought. At the moment, I’m not sure I understand that. Thanks for prompting some research.


    Hi Diane,
    I was blessed by “The Hidden Miracle” that appeared in PresbyCan today.
    God bless.


    Thank you for writing these wonderful devotions you write. They are always meaningful and stimulating.
    Blessings,
    (NL)


    Dear Diane,
    What a powerful reminder of what it means to be a Christian in God’s eyes. Thank you for opening our eyes to look at this story differently. May you have a blessed day with open eyes.


    Greetings Diane,
    Thank you for writing this deeply meaningful devotional today. A good reminder that we must not remain in the shadows but step forth and honour our Lord’s miracles.
    Blessings to you.


    Hello Diane,
    Your message was very meaningful; it provided a new perspective for me. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
    Blessings
    (ON)


    Just a thought Diane. Don’t’ you think that it is our generation that is so scared to spread the good news and that if we were as bold as Paul, we would be a lot better off. This world would be so much better. We have to trust God and do His will on earth.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this devotional! I now understand this story much better.
    Her intense desire to remain unnoticed versus Jesus’ crowd-stopping question! When we are healed, we need to shout it from the rooftops. Jesus helped her get started by announcing that her invisible shame was gone.


    Diane, what an amazing, powerful message today!
    I think it was even more meaningful to me because, Dr Clifton MacKay, a former moderator of the PCC in 1968, was preaching at our church and had asked my husband to sing, “She Only Touched the Hem of His Garment” to reinforce his sermon. Amazing the impact it had! Your message just brought it all back with new and fresh meaning! Thanks so much for the challenge to step out of the shadows.


    Good Morning, Diane!
    How beautifully written is your devotion today! As I read it, I found the words flowing almost poetically, creating a beautiful picture of a crowded byway where one woman had the courage and desire to reach out and touch the Man who purportedly could heal her. It is a lovely story. Thank you!
    Today, may your blessings be as numerous as the snowflakes softly falling.
    Keep writing!
    (ON)


    Experiencing the touch of Jesus can have that effect on us as well.


    Dear Diane,
    This is a most beautiful account of God’s love. Your Spirit filled devotion applied the salve of Christ’s love to deep wounds caused years ago. Bless you.

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