Prayers for the families impacted by Hurricane Matthew from the Caribbean to Haiti to the US southeast. If anyone knows of any worthy causes (I will need full information of course, please send and I will share with our group in case anyone wants to help)…
This week’s Fast Wednesday is a call to love your siblings if you are fortunate enough to have any and:
1) Dedicated to my baby brother, Fred Fuller, as yesterday was his birthday and
2) In honor/memory of my cousin, Jerome Artemus Autry, and his remaining siblings. There were 12 of them originally and I believe they are down to 7 now. Offering them love and peace, in their own way.
Here’s a link to a Ted Talk where the discussion is on “The Sibling Bond” by Jeffrey Kluger. Its old but definitely a nugget that asks us, if we are from a family and have siblings, to love on and engage with them. No one will ever know your story like your siblings.
JESUS and WOMEN:
Last week we discussed the Canaanite mother. Our discussion for today centers around “The Woman with the Issue of Blood” from Luke 8:40-56 specifically verses 43-48.
My Life Application Bible states “as a non-Jew recording the word and works of Jesus’ life, Luke demonstrates a special sensitivity to other “outsiders” with whom Jesus came into contact. For instance, Luke records five events involving women that are not mentioned in the other Gospels. In first-century Jewish culture, women were usually treated as second-class citizens and had few of the rights men had. But Jesus crossed those barriers, and Luke showed the special care Jesus had for women. Jesus treated all people with equal respect. Today’s story is not one of those five as it shows up in (Mark 5:21–43, Matthew 9:18–26, Luke 8:40–56).
The woman with the issue of blood is an everyday, desperate woman. A common, no named, unidentifiable woman from Luke’s Gospel. That’s an ingredient that makes her story so compelling because it exemplifies that, like her, miracles are possible for you. Interestingly, David Ngibbs, gives her a name “Sarah.” However, after studying further, I felt I could take this woman and give her any woman’s name and her story would remain the same: Ann, Bethany, Danelie, Debra, Sarrah, Shanell, Shine and Tracy or Fast Wednesday’s women, for instance. Sarah believes, after twelve years of illness, isolation, rejection, shame, and hitting financial bottom, meeting Jesus and even “touching the hem of his garment” is a risk worth taking.
Nicole C. Mullen, link below, sings a song about an everyday person ostracized for twelve years and spent, who hears about Jesus, her faith kicks in and she believes “if I could just touch the hem of his garment I know I will be made whole, I press(ed) my way through the madness; his love has healed my soul; he reached way down and touched me when no one else would.” Jesus calls out from the crowd who touched me? He knew who it was. Yet he asked for several reasons and one particularly was he wanted her to know he did not have on a magic cloak, so she touched the fringes of the garment but was not what healed her. It was her faith in him.
I have a painting of this story and in it, I see people stepping on her, others are coming for healing, etc. amidst the crowd. In our reality themed based world, many are drawn towards the stories which are gory, indeed, the gorier the better. This one has a protagonist, considered unclean, who should not be out in the streets much less a crowd. “If (Jesus) had been an ordinary Rabbi, His healing schedule and His ministry itinerary would have been CANCELLED because He had been touched by a BLOODY WOMAN!”
While it appears the woman took power from Jesus without asking, I propose she only gained power because he allowed her as it was hers for the taking. Power is a gift he was planning to leave the world anyway. Some received it while he was walking the earth due to their faith most would receive it once he was gone Acts 1:8 “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”
Rev. Artis shares in a sermon “according to Jewish tradition, the age of twelve is when a young girl has her Bat Mitzvah – it is the time in her life when she goes from being a little girl to becoming a WOMAN. In the same text we have one woman who was DYING TO LIVE and a girl who had LIVED JUST TO DIE” both after 12 years, ironically?
Jesus, “tells us to TAKE what we need for our miracle! We must be daring to deplete Jesus. We’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain.” Consequently, both the woman and Jarius’ daughter ended up living based on daring acts of theirs or others. Are you just curious about God, or do you reach out to him in faith, knowing that his mercy will bring healing to your, soul and spirit? Interestingly, this woman was only sick physically. Her soul was pure, however, she wanted to be made whole. What about you? Are you whole? Do you want to be? In Jesus’ mind, this suffering woman was not to be overlooked. As God’s creation, she deserved attention and respect. So do you!
P.S. Significance in the Number Twelve
Twelve can be found in 187 places in God’s word. Revelation alone has 22 occurrences of the number. The meaning of 12, which is considered a perfect number, is that it symbolizes God’s power and authority, as well as serving as a perfect governmental foundation. It can also symbolize completeness or the nation of Israel as a whole. For example, Jacob (Israel) had twelve sons, each of which represented a tribe begun by a prince, for 12 princes total. Ishmael, who was born to Abraham through Hagar, also had twelve princes.
Twelve signs of the zodiac (these ancient symbols are found in Jewish synagogues of the 1st century AD.), The circle of the heavens = 360′ (12 x 30). The product of the number three (perfection of divinity) x four (the number of the earth). Twelve months in a year. Twelve tribes of Israel [Genesis 49:28]. Twelve pillars were erected at Mt. Sinai [Exodus 24:4]. Twelve pillars were erected in the Promised Land [Joshua 4:1-9]. Twelve statues of oxen held up the water basin in Solomon’s Temple [1 Kings 7:25]. Twelve men were selected by God to conduct the census of the tribes [Numbers 1:2-16]. Twelve princes of Israel brought gifts to the Sanctuary on twelve days [Numbers 7:10-83]. Twelve spies sent to reconnoiter Canaan [Numbers 13:1-15]. Jesus is twelve years old when He questions the scholars in the Temple [Luke 2:41]. Twelve legions of angles [Matthew 26:53]. Twelve Apostles [Matthew 10:2-4; Mark 3:13-19; Luke 6:13]. 144,000 servants of God (12 times 12) [Revelation 7:4]. Twelve gates of the New Jerusalem [Revelation 21:12]. Twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem [Revelation 21:16, 17]. The Trees of Life in the new creation will bear twelve kinds of fruits [Revelation 22:2].
Luke 8:40-56The Message (MSG) – His Touch 40-42 On his return, Jesus was welcomed by a crowd. They were all there expecting him. A man came up, Jairus by name. He was president of the meeting place. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his home because his twelve-year-old daughter, his only child, was dying. Jesus went with him, making his way through the pushing, jostling crowd.
43-45 In the crowd that day there was a woman who for twelve years had been afflicted with hemorrhages. She had spent every penny she had on doctors but not one had been able to help her. She slipped in from behind and touched the edge of Jesus’ robe. At that very moment her hemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, “Who touched me?”
When no one stepped forward, Peter said, “But Master, we’ve got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.”
46 Jesus insisted, “Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.”
47 When the woman realized that she couldn’t remain hidden, she knelt trembling before him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story—why she touched him and how at that same moment she was healed.
48 Jesus said, “Daughter, you took a risk trusting me, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed!”
49 While he was still talking, someone from the leader’s house came up and told him, “Your daughter died. No need now to bother the Teacher.”
50-51 Jesus overheard and said, “Don’t be upset. Just trust me and everything will be all right.” Going into the house, he wouldn’t let anyone enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s parents.
52-53 Everyone was crying and carrying on over her. Jesus said, “Don’t cry. She didn’t die; she’s sleeping.” They laughed at him. They knew she was dead.
54-56 Then Jesus, gripping her hand, called, “My dear child, get up.” She was up in an instant, up and breathing again! He told them to give her something to eat. Her parents were ecstatic, but Jesus warned them to keep quiet. “Don’t tell a soul what happened in this room.”
Nicole C. Mullen, One Touch http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=92B0BJNU
Love, Joy and Peace,
Debra J. Fuller Ellis
Reminder AND/OR for those of you just joining us:
The purpose of Fast Wednesdays is to draw near to God on this specific day of the week fasting and praying in whatever manner the Holy Spirit is leading you as sisters (and some brothers) in Christ…some have fasted from social media, coffee, or observed a traditional fast with no eating from sunrise to sunset with only liquids for the day, no deserts, etc. I know many of us, for various reasons, participate every week but in different manners. This has still been beneficial and the blog continues to grow!
The key ingredient is that we are doing this together as sisters, of all ages, in the Lord, both chronologically and spiritually in accordance to: A God-Filled Life Titus 2:3-5 “Guide older women into lives of reverence so they end up as neither gossips nor drunks, but models of goodness. By looking at them, the younger women will know how to love their husbands and children, be virtuous and pure, keep a good house, be good wives. We don’t want anyone looking down on God’s Message because of their behavior.” Note: Please share Fast Wednesdays with your friends and/or send me names to add to the distribution list. For now, I will post in three places: email (firstname.lastname@example.org), Facebook (Debra Fuller Ellis) and blog in Word Press: https://fastwednesdays.wordpress.com