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Faith of A Mustard Seed

by Barbara Woods-Washington

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 using ‘’ now is a triple tradition that has already been viewed in Matthew and Mark.  It is ‘A Woman’s Faith’ which, again, 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, 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.

My study this week took me into a probing for the differences between ‘Knowledge’ and ‘Education’.  It is no longer enough for me that persons who have justified their loss in education continues this thought through generations.  I have always seen that persons who achieve academic levels of life insist on their decedents valuing education as each generation advances their life achievements and goals with education as a tool in their hands.  Knowledge, on the other hand, is being defined as ‘Experience’.  Everybody has this!

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 comedienne, he would say “Do you see the lightening flashing? Crackity, crack, crack, crack.  Can you hear the thunder rolling?  Boomity, bam, bam, bam!”

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.  There is also the sense ‘to be ashamed’ now experienced in the concept of ‘hidden’.  With two on-going wars; seven million foreclosed homes (a never before seen ‘homeless’ America); a stock market crash; etc, much of what has been hidden MUST COME to light!

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 of not speaking up when he asked, it was not until ‘He saw her’ that she came forth trembling…”

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