When the Power Goes Out!
“Somebody touched Me, for I perceived POWER going out from Me.”
O my soul. Our passage may not be immediately striking. Here toward the end of Luke 8 we find a sick woman and a healing Savior. She touched His garment and was completely restored. But others have been healed by Christ, and so we may be tempted to simply glance upon her case and move on. But there is something special here. There is something Christ discloses in this miracle that He typically conceals. Here He reveals, in no uncertain terms, that the source of this work is HIS OWN POWER.
Other servants of the Lord worked miracles through a "borrowed" power. The Scriptures say that "The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people (Psalm 68:35)." To His own disciples Christ promised that He would "give" them power. The enemies of Christ have, for a time, a "granted" power (Rev. 13:15). To Pilate Christ said "you could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above (John 19:11)." But here, in our text, we find Jesus Christ works by virtue of His own power.
“I perceived power going out from Me.” Let us take a moment then and consider carefully the power of Jesus Christ.
What kind of power was this that flowed from Christ to this weary woman, and what kind of power is this that Christ offers to you and I?
1. It is a DIVINE POWER. This power, says Christ, was “from ME.” It is the power of the Omnipotent God Himself. It is the power of Eternal and Everlasting Divinity! Power before which angels fall and devils tremble. It is the power that brought all the worlds into existence in a moment. “For by Him [Christ] all things were created (Colossians 1:16).” No fair minded person can read the gospel accounts of Christ’s life and be unconvinced that He possessed in His own person the very power of God. Even nature knew His voice. “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him? (Matt. 8:27)” He healed the sick without medicine, fed five thousand with nothing but a few fish, predicted the future perfectly, knew men’s thoughts, forgave men’s sins, raised the dead. Even His own life He could end and begin again by His power. “I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again (John 10:18).” The power of Christ is the power of God, for He is Divine, and His power is Divine Power. As it is written: “Christ, the power of God (I Cor. 1:24).”
2. It is an IRRESISTIBLE POWER. You can’t stop this power. Sooner could you snuff out the sun between your fingers than you could arrest even one ray of this irresistible power. Sooner could swallow all the water in the sea than you could stop even one drop of the power of Christ. You and I often try and fail. This power has NEVER failed. When this power proceeds from Christ every enemy must surrender and every opponent concede. “No one can restrain His hand (Daniel 4:35).” This woman had a seemingly incurable flow of blood, but it was no match for Christ’s flow of power. “I perceived power going out of Me.”
3. It is an INEXHAUSTIBLE POWER. Christ was already on the way to heal the dying daughter of Jairus when this woman reached out and touched Him. In fact, by the time she touched Christ, the daughter of Jairus was already dead, for the Scriptures say “while He was still speaking, someone came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, ‘Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher (Luke 8:49).” Christ was on His way to raise the dead when this woman sought strength from Him. Never could her timing have been more ill managed. What strength, what energy, what unspeakable resources would be needed to raise this young girl back to life from death! Could Christ spare any power for another? Yet what does the text say? When she touched Him “she was healed immediately (Luke 8:47).” Christ is a wellspring of power without any bottom. One day by His power every dead body that ever lived will be raised, yet this shall not make the slightest dent into the resources of our Lord.
4. It is a SIN CONQUERING POWER. The power of Christ to remove this woman’s illness was but an illustration of His power to remove sin. Sin is the great sickness of mankind. We cannot remove it. We can’t even relieve it. And we do not recover from it. Jeremiah says that the heart of man is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9).” The word “desperately” in the Hebrew means, literally, “incurable.” So it was with this woman. She spent all her money on physicians, but to no avail. Men may expend all their energies and efforts for all their lives and never have the power to remove a single sin. But Christ’s power is sin-conquering power. “The Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins (Matt. 9:6).” This woman was losing her battle with illness, and all men lose their battle with sin unless they come to Christ. But once touch Christ and you discover “the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).”
5. It is a FREELY OFFERED POWER. This poor woman who had nothing to give received the healing power of Christ. She had previously “spent all” and was utterly bankrupt as she pursued our Savior through the crowd. She had no obvious invitation. Christ was not looking at her. Yet so free and plentiful is the power of Christ that the mere touch of faith was sufficient for her to receive all she needed from him. Thus said the prophet to Israel “You who have no money, come buy and eat (Isaiah 55:1).” Thomas Watson, the puritan pastor, once said “Christ is the most inexpensive physician; He takes no fee. He desires us to bring nothing to Him but broken hearts.”
6. It is an IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE POWER. Our text says, upon just the touch of the border of Christ’s garment, that “immediately her flow of blood stopped (Luke 8:44).” There was no delay in her recovery once she had connected with Christ. What? Will you wait for this power when it is immediately available to all who come? The power of Christ is never on backorder. Christ is more willing to save men than they are willing to come.
7. It is a SOUL CHEERING & PEACE PRODUCING POWER. Christ said to this woman “Daughter, be of good cheer, your faith as made you well. Go in peace.” There is nothing in the world so well-suited to cheer the soul as the power of Christ. All of the trials in the world cannot discourage the soul who leans on the power of Christ. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world (John 16:33).” No one knew such troubles as Paul. Yet what did he say? "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us (Romans 8:18).” Paul knew the power of Christ. "And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9).” No soul can remain sad long, once convinced of the power of Christ.
8. It is an EMBOLDENING POWER. Those who meet this power must tell others about it. “She declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately (Luke 8:47).” Have you been in contact with the power of Christ? Tell someone! Whom have I told this very week of the power of Christ? Tell the world about the strength of the God who delivered you from sin. “Telling to the generations to come the praises of the Lord, and His strength…(Psalm 78:4).” Paul wrote to Timothy about this power. He said to him that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of POWER, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).”
9. It is a FEARFUL POWER. This power is as fearful as it is wonderful. As much as this power is FOR those who believe, this same power is AGAINST all who refuse. “His power and His wrath are against all who forsake Him (Ezra 8:22).” By Christ’s power He now opens to you the door of salvation. And by Christ’s power He shall one day close that door forever. Jesus is “He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens (Rev. 3:7).” Dear reader, the power of God is nothing to play with. “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb. 10:31).”
Personally I find the most fearful thing is that this power can be SO CLOSE and yet not be seen, we being blinded by our own willful unbelief. Crowds pressed around Christ, but for all we know only 1 reached out to touch Him. “The multitudes throng and press You” His disciples observed. “Somebody” touched Me, said Christ. Many were there. One reached out. Even after the miracle of the healing men were unmoved. While Christ was still speaking a servant came to announce the death of Jairus’ daughter. “Do not trouble the Teacher” (Luke 8: 49) he said. What…all this power and they still doubted? How about you? Will you not reach out and lay hold of Jesus Christ now? All His power is available to save you, if you will but come. But if you will not, then one day that very power will be set against you forever.
10. Finally, this POWER IS RECEIVED BY FAITH ALONE. Jesus said to the woman of our text “your faith has made you well (Luke 8:48).” Not her works…she did none. Not her strength…she had none. Not her riches…she owned none. Not her courage…she trembled! Not her reputation…she is given no name other than “a woman.” FAITH in Christ saved her. Faith alone was her hope. Oh sinner…come as you are…but by all means come by FAITH! Well said the hymnist “Nothing in my hands I bring, simply to Thy cross I cling.” Nothing more than faith you need…but nothing less will do. Faith lays hold of Christ and all His power. It is a power before which nothing stands. It is a power by which all may be moved.
Dear reader…have you this faith? Has the saving power of Christ gone out to you? If so, then like the woman in the story, “be of good cheer, your faith has made you well, go in peace.”