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THE WOMAN IN THE CROWD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

A sermon preached at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Morning, March 2, 2014

“And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).


Jesus cast demons out of a maniac who lived on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee. The people there told Jesus to leave. He never stays where He is not wanted, so He left them and crossed the sea, back to the western shore. Soon a great multitude of people thronged Him. A frenzied man came running and pushed his way through the crowd. When he got to Jesus he fell down at the Saviour’s feet and told him that his little daughter was dying. He begged Jesus to come with him and lay His hands on her “that she may be healed...and live.” Jesus went with the man, and the crowd of people followed Him and thronged Him, pressing against Jesus as He walked.

In the middle of the crowd was a sick woman. She had a hemorrhage, and she had been bleeding for twelve years. She had been to many doctors, and had spent all her money on them, but she only got worse. She heard that Jesus was healing people. She pushed her way through the crowd and touched His robe. In that moment the bleeding stopped and she was physically healed. Jesus felt power go out of Him when she touched Him and was healed. Jesus said, “Who touched my clothes?” The Disciples said that many people in the crowd had touched Him.

“But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth” (Mark 5:33).

And Jesus told her, “Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.”

All the healings Jesus performed are given to us primarily to show how He can heal our souls in conversion. If you are unsaved this morning I want you to pay very careful attention to this woman’s healing and conversion. I am going to point out four important lessons on conversion from her that God may use in your own conversion - if you listen carefully! 

I. First, she really wanted to be healed.

She was not fooling around. People who pretend to be serious about being saved are often only “triflers.” That’s what the Old-School evangelicals called people who were just fooling around, just playing and asking foolish questions. Silly “triflers” never get anywhere that way. They are like the man who asked Jesus, “Are there few that be saved?” (Luke 13:23). It was just an idle question – trivial, unimportant. He just asked that out of mild curiosity. It wasn’t really important to him. He was just a “trifler.”

Many people like that come to see us in the inquiry room. They ask a few questions. They talk a little. But they are not at all serious about being saved. You can tell that they aren’t serious because they are laughing and joking a moment or two after they leave the inquiry room. They are not really serious about being saved. They are only fooling around. They are just “triflers.” That’s why the Bible says that they are,

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (II Timothy 3:7).

They never find Christ because they are not earnestly seeking Him. They are not passionately, zealously, ardently seeking Christ. They are not excited, they are not eager to find Christ. They are just passionless, lukewarm, unmoved “triflers” – who are “Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” Less than five minutes after they leave the inquiry room you can see that they are not really concerned about finding Christ. They are just fooling around. They are just passionless “triflers.” They won’t get serious about being saved until they lift up their eyes in the torments of Hell. But by then it will be too late! They will have trifled away their lives until they lost everything for eternity.

Now contrast the “trifler” with the woman in our text. She was very anxious to be cured of her bloody flux. She was zealously seeking a cure. She was like those who obey Jesus’ command, “Strive to enter in” (Luke 13:24). The word “strive” there is from the Greek word agonizomai. We get the word “agony” from it. Now, doesn’t that describe the woman with an issue of blood? Didn’t she strive to find a cure? Didn’t she actually go through agony trying to be cured? She had been to one physician after the other. She “had suffered many things of many physicians.” They had doubtlessly given her painful operations – very painful. Since there was no chloroform back then, they had operated on her while she was wide awake! They had made her drink medicines that poisoned her rather than curing her! And she had spent all her money and all her savings on these worthless “medicines.”

No wonder she was converted that day! She was dead serious about it. She felt she had to be saved! That’s the kind of person who gets saved, you know. The “triflers” go on and on in a lost condition. But those who are very earnest and anxious about their lost condition always find Jesus rather quickly. Yes – always! “Ye shall find me!”

“Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).

You will find the Saviour! You will! You will! But only when you search for Him “with all your heart” – like this woman with a bloody flux did!!! She really wanted to be healed! She thought about it all the time! Do you think about it all the time? Does it bother you to be lost?  Do you constantly keep worrying about it?  You should! 

II. Second, she was not helped by the physicians she saw.

I already mentioned these doctors. But I need to say a few more words about them. The main thing is this – none of them could cure her! They couldn’t help her at all – but only made her worse.

Sometimes we have a young person come to church and become concerned about their soul. They begin to worry about their sin, and about eternity. But they go to their lost friends and tell them how they feel. Sure enough, those non-Christian friends tell them they are O.K., and then tell them to stop coming to church. So, those unsaved friends are just like the doctors who couldn’t cure this bleeding woman. All they could do was mess her up and take her money!

Sometimes when a young person begins to feel conviction of sin they will go to another pastor, who gives them false comfort. I wish it were not so, but there are a lot of wicked preachers today, who are like those doctors in our passage. They gladly take your offerings – they want your money! But they can’t help your sin-sick soul!

I was preaching in a certain place many years ago. After I preached three teenagers came to me privately, a boy and two girls. They told me something which made it very clear that they were lost. They could not have been saved. They were in tears, under deep conviction. I spoke with them several times after I preached, until all three of them seemed to be clearly saved. They went home rejoicing and told their minister that they were saved in the meeting I was conducting. That minister called me on the phone the next morning. Over and over he screamed at me on the phone – “I repudiate you! I repudiate you! I repudiate you!” (“Repudiate” means “I reject you!” “I denounce you!”). Someone told me afterwards that he was jealous of me because he wanted to claim that he had gotten them saved! That poor, weak-minded minister “repudiated” me for getting three lost teenagers saved from the flames of Hell! Then this self-righteous spiritual moron started agitating until he got the meetings stopped. He will have to answer for that when he faces God at the Last Judgment! Not the Bema Judgment, but the Last Judgment! Though the minister who did that was a Protestant, he was as bad, if not worse, than a Roman Catholic priest! There are many like him today. May God deliver you from such false prophets! God said of preachers like that,

“I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:32).

There are even certain Baptist preachers who will give you false counsel – to get you to leave this church and go to theirs – so they can get your offerings! Your money! I consider such preachers to be “sheep stealers” and false prophets! It makes me sick to my stomach when I think of them! They are like the physicians that could not heal this woman with a bloody discharge!

III. Third, her body was healed when she touched the robe of Jesus.

She came through the crowd around the Saviour. The people’s bodies were pressing each other because there were so many of them – gathered thick and tight – to watch Jesus perform a miracle! Although many of them touched Jesus, only this woman received power from Jesus to heal her body. At another time “as many as touched him were made whole” (Mark 6:56). But at this time only the woman was healed. We cannot say why this was so. Perhaps none of the others were “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father” (I Peter 1:2).

I believe that her physical healing corresponded with her awakening. Like every sinner, she had been “dead in trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2:1). Those who are dead in sin must receive power before they can come to Jesus. Some call this “regeneration.” That is an error. I prefer to call it “awakening.” That is what the Apostle Paul called it when he said,

Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Ephesians 5:14).

When you are awakened by the Holy Spirit, you will be convicted of sin. You will be made to feel that you are hopelessly enslaved to sin. You will be made to feel that you are “dead in sins” (Ephesians 2:5). Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “The first sign of spiritual life is to feel that you are dead” (The Law: Its Functions and Limits, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975, p. 145).

At another time, Dr. Lloyd-Jones said, “You cannot become a Christian without being made humble” (Authentic Christianity, Volume I, The Banner of Truth Trust, 1999, p. 114).

When you are awakened, you will feel that you have no power of your own, that you are quite helplessly dead in sin. When you are humbled by this, you may be prepared to come to the Saviour. You may be prepared to admit that you cannot learn anything that will help you. You may be prepared to admit to yourself that no one but Jesus Himself can save you.

When you are awakened you will feel that mere doctrines about Christ can do you no good. You will feel that only Jesus Himself can save you. Dr. Lloyd-Jones made this very clear in a passage of his book, Revival. At the end of that passage he said, “It is a terrible thing to substitute even true doctrines for a living realisation of the person” (Revival, Crossway Books, 1987, p. 58). When you are awakened, you will not be satisfied with knowing things about Jesus! You will want Jesus Himself! You will feel that only Jesus Himself can save you! The demons know who Jesus is. The demons at Capernaum cried out, “Thou art Christ the Son of God...for they knew that he was Christ” (Luke 4:41). These demons knew doctrine. They knew He was the Christ (the Messiah). They knew He was the Son of God. They knew those doctrines about Christ, but they did not know Him personally. All they knew were some doctrines about Jesus. When you are awakened, you will not be satisfied with knowing things about Jesus. You will want Jesus Himself! When you are truly awakened to your lostness and misery, you will not be satisfied with believing in a Bible verse. You will know that only the man Christ Jesus can save you,

“For there is…one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5).

And you must know and trust “the man Christ Jesus” Himself to be saved.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3).

You are not to know things about God. You are to know God. You are not to know things about Jesus Christ. You must know Jesus Christ! That is the only way to have eternal life! That is the only way to be saved! You must know Jesus Christ Himself!

After all, think what Jesus Christ Himself did to save you! Think how He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane until He sweat a bloody sweat to save you. Have you heard that so many times that it is meaningless to you? Do you skip over it lightly in your mind? Think of His excruciating death on the Cross – as your substitute, in your place, agonizing and dying to pay for your sin. Have you heard that so many times that it means nothing to you? Do you skip over it quickly in your mind? If you do YOU HAVE NO HOPE! NONE AT ALL!

An old man came to see a certain pastor. He was lonely, and the pastor let him stay in a small apartment at the church. He wrote a gospel song with tears running down his cheeks. He had been dead for many years when I visited the church. But people still showed me his apartment. And they still wept when they sang his song.

I would love to tell you what I think of Jesus
   Since I found in Him a friend so strong and true;
I would tell you how He changed my life completely,
   He did something that no other friend could do.
No one ever cared for me like Jesus,
   There’s no other friend so kind as He;
No one else could take the sin and darkness from me,
   O how much He cared for me!
(“No One Ever Cared For Me Like Jesus” by Charles F. Weigle, 1871-1966).

But that is not the way the woman with the bloody flux felt, which takes us to the last point.

IV. Fourth, she was converted when she came to Jesus.

I said she didn’t feel that Jesus was her friend yet. When Jesus looked for her, the Bible says,

“The woman fearing and trembling…came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth” (Mark 5:33).

She was still afraid of Him. That leads me to believe she was not yet saved. She was awakened, but not yet converted.

But even as she trembled with fear, she came to Him. “She came and fell down before him.” Her fears showed that she did not yet know Him. But she came to Him anyway. Full of fear and trembling, she came. She didn’t have great faith. She was just a poor woman who didn’t know much. But she knew Jesus had healed her. She was awakened by His grace, but she did not yet know His love. Yet she came to Him anyway!

I love Anna W. Waterman’s lovely hymn, that Mr. Griffith sang before I preached this sermon. I love it because I know it is true. It was true in my life and it will be so in your life too, if you come to Jesus.

And I know, yes, I know,
   Jesus’ Blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
And I know, yes, I know,
   Jesus’ Blood can make the vilest sinner clean.
(“Yes, I Know!” by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).

If you come to the Saviour, He will save you this morning. He will wash away your sin with His precious Blood – and He will speak to you as He spoke to the woman with an issue of blood,

“And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).

If you come to Jesus this morning He will save you from your sin, and He will send you home this afternoon with the same benediction He gave that woman,

“Thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”

If you would like to speak with us about being saved from sin by Jesus, please leave your chair now and walk to the back of this auditorium. Dr. Cagan will take you to another room where we can pray and talk. Go now. Dr. Chan, please pray for someone to trust Jesus this morning. Amen.

(END OF SERMON)
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Scripture Read Before the Sermon by Mr. Abel Prudhomme: Mark 5:25-34.
Solo Sung Before the Sermon by Mr. Benjamin Kincaid Griffith:
“Yes, I Know!” (by Anna W. Waterman, 1920).


THE OUTLINE OF

THE WOMAN IN THE CROWD

by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.

“And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague” (Mark 5:34).

(Mark 5:33)

I.   First, she really wanted to be healed, Luke 13:23; II Timothy 3:7;
Jeremiah 29:13.

II.  Second, she was not helped by the physicians she saw,
Jeremiah 23:32.

III. Third, her body was healed when she touched the robe of Jesus,
Mark 6:56; I Peter 1:2; Ephesians 2:1; 5:14; 2:5;
Luke 4:41; I Timothy 2:5; John 17:3.

IV. Fourth, she was converted when she came to Jesus, Mark 5:33.