Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

“And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.”(Luke 8:47)

Luke’s use of faith here is a triple tradition that can be viewed in Matthew and Mark. It is ‘A Woman’s Faith’ which sits in the middle of Jesus’ call to go and see about Jairus’ daughter. Variations include Luke’s statement that “she could not be healed by anyone” (Luke 8:43-48); while Matthew is silent on her medical history (Matthew 9:20-22); and Mark speaks of her suffering under physicians and the draining of her resources while seeking healing (Mark 5:25-34).

For Mark, the disciples question why he would even ask “who touched me”; while for Luke, when all denied, Peter says, “Master… it’s the multitudes!”And then Luke alone records that “when the woman saw that she was not hidden…”.

So very difficult is this concept of ‘hidden’, as so many words are used biblically to give meaning.In all true religions there is ‘mystery of the Divine’ that is hidden. To be sure, ‘who has seen God?’I mean, really? And then, Jesus adopted a teaching method of using ‘parables’, indicating that keys to the Kingdom of Heaven would remain hidden from plain sight.Some would see, but not see; some would hear but not understand.In Luke, Jesus attributes this ‘hiddenness’ to the will of God as he prayed “I thank you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will” (10:21). It is only by ‘revelation’ that the ‘Mysterium Tremendium’ becomes known by the believer.

I can’t help but recall the late Dr. Isaac Clark’s Homiletics classroom when he talked about ‘revelation coming through the preached word’. An original stand-up commedian, he would say “Do you see the lightening flashing? Crackity, crack, crack, crack. Can you hear the thunder rolling? Boomity, bam, bam, bam!” The Homilitician, The Greatest Preacher HAS TO HAVE and be able to ‘paint a picture’ so even a child like eye can see the meaning of “A PURE HEART! For “blessed are the PURE IN HEART… THEY SHALL SEE GOD!

When ‘hidden’ relates to (hu)man, it has within it not just the sense of ‘to cover’; ‘to conceal’; but the sense of ‘to deceive’ is introduced to the concept. Adam hid from God when the knowledge of good and evil came into his life. The ‘Preached Word’ is no longer ‘PURE ‘ in our times of ‘alternate facts’.

The Word of God that remains UNCHANGED, is now ‘changed’ by those who stand in ‘The Holy Place’ and spew ‘Sociology’ (I’m thinking) AND OMG  ‘Satanology’! “My People are destroyed for lack of knowledge of GOD —THEOLOGY!

There is also the sense ‘to be ashamed’ now experienced in the concept of ‘hidden’. The ‘Sins’ of the National Life are no longer hidden.All in our face with the shame setting in.

Preachers seeking elected Statehouse positions. Wanting to ‘serve two masters’. In the midst of massive corruption in the political life:“Is there A Word from The Lord?”

Even with her matchless faith which gave her ‘heart’ to go up and touch Jesus to receive her healing, this woman was ‘covered’ by the crowd which enabled her to ‘think’ that she was ‘hidden’ from Jesus. Ashamed at not speaking up when he asked, it was not until ‘He saw her’ that she came forth trembling…”

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