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How Jesus Removes Labels – Book of Mark

By Pastor Marcus Brown

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Today we’re looking at the story in Mark 5:24-34 about the woman with the issue of blood. This issue had been going on for twelve years! That’s what the Bible says: twelve years. She has been in the storm of her life for twelve long years. 


Now, I’m a guy who likes stormy weather, okay? I like it. If you like bad weather, you kind of get invigorated sometimes when it hits. You know you like bad weather if you have a favorite meteorologist! I remember one time when we were living in Fort Smith, a friend of mine called me and said, “Hey, there’s a tornado on the ground right by Home Depot headed into a neighborhood!” 


So, I’m watching for it, and then I went, “Wait. That’s our neighborhood!” So, being a redneck, you know what I did. I got my son and said, “Austin, let’s go see if we can see the tornado.”  Brook goes for cover. Rednecks go for the driveway. So, Austin and I stepped outside, and we could already feel the wind coming! It was like an EF1; it was a small tornado, but it hit us, and it felt and looked just like what you see on videos when rednecks run into a tornado.


But there is a difference between you chasing a storm and a storm chasing you. This woman had been in a storm for twelve years. For twelve years she had this issue of blood, until one day when she had one opportunity, one chance to leave the crowd and get to Jesus. Don’t miss how profound this was. 


You may be in a crowd right now, but there’s a difference between being in a crowd and being a part of the Jesus fan club, touching the hem of his garment and grabbing ahold of the God who is so powerful that it changes your life forever. 


Brook and I are now raising our kids. We don’t want them to be church kinds, and we don’t want them to just be in a church crowd! Why? Because sometimes, if you live long enough, you might think, “Well, I just hope they attend church one day.” That’s being in a crowd. The Bible Belt is full of people that are in a crowd. Similarly, there were a whole bunch of people crowding around Jesus, but one woman left the crowd and got to the hem of his garment. This story teaches you what to do when you have an issue and how to act as a disciple of Jesus. There are many powerful things in here.


We’re not gonna have time for all of it, but we have time for everything God wants us to have today. 



When Jesus again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him. Why was there a large crowd? He had cast the demon out of a naked man. 


So when Jesus had come back to where he cast that demon out, that guy had evangelized the whole area. So, now there’s a massive crowd there. Watch what happens when there’s a massive crowd.


Then one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came. When he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet.  He pleaded earnestly with him. My little daughter’s dying. Please come put your hands on her so she’ll be healed and live. So Jesus went with him, a large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for how many years? 


She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors, spent all she had, yet instead of getting better, she grew what?  When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak  because she thought if I just touched the hem of his garment, I’ll be healed.  Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body she was freed from her suffering and at once Jesus realized, (this is the only place in scripture you’re going to hear this), that power had left him. 


Power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, Who touched my clothes?  You see the people crowned against you, his disciples answered. And you, you ask who touched me? But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. And then the woman, can you get this picture? Knowing what happened to her, came and fell at his feet, trembling with fear.


You see the fear of the Lord that’s on her? And told him the whole truth.  He said to her daughter. Everybody say that word with me.  Your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering. You taking notes? Let’s dive into this.  She was physically wasting away.  She’s had this for 12 years.


That’s three presidential terms.  12 years. That’s eight national championships for Alabama. 12 years long. Long time, right? She’s physically wasting away. The Bible says that life is in the blood. If you got blood problems, you got life problems. And if it’s a life and death situation and it has been, her blood has been attacked, her body’s been attacked for 12 years.


Her oxygen levels are up and they’re down. Her energy levels are up. And they are down you ever seen anybody like this their colors off. You ever miss me? You’re just like  they look anemic  They look a little gray.  I bumped into a guy. He looks so bad. His color was so off I was thinking my mind this might be the last time I see this guy.


Something is wrong. She’s financially wasting away. The Bible says in Mark 5, 26 that she had spent all she had.  Isn’t this how evil Satan is? He attacks you with a two pronged attack when he attacks you with illness over a period of time. It starts in your body and then it’ll affect your wallet. you know what I’m talking about?


Like, you have a problem physically long enough, you’re not just hemorrhaging physically, she’s hemorrhaging financially, and she went from being sick to being sick and broke. The exact place Satan wanted to have her in. We see this all the time. Many of the families that we help with our benevolence, they’ve been sick to the point that they are struggling to pay their bills.


I think it’s evil. Matter of fact,  you go around America and you go to medical districts in big cities and you know those, those hotels are three times more than they are outside that district.  Food is expensive. They prey on the fact that you are sick and you are vulnerable. You go there. You’re like, we’re paying  491 a night for the best Western.


What are you doing? You’re just thinking man. I am being drained on two fronts But then Jesus comes to town  and no matter how drained she was She goes, if I can get to him, maybe. Everybody else has used me. Maybe one man named Jesus can help me. And I don’t even have to just get to him. If I could get to his hem of his garment, maybe he will help me in a way that no one else in the world has helped me. 


This story is so powerful. I want you to see it from the lens of Jesus. There’s something very powerful you got to learn about Jesus, and there’s a few things powerful about this woman. You guys ready?  Yes, or an amen? You guys ready to go? You got to get your heart open and get hungry, all right? Jesus, the Lord wants to teach you.


1. Embrace interruptions.  


Jesus is interrupted 35 times in His ministry! I don’t like interruptions; do you? It happens all the time at my house. It’s so disrespectful. Brook and I will be just talking, sharing our hearts with one another and enjoying heart-to-heart fellowship, and then one of our crumb snatchers will walk in and just interrupt the conversation! Then while they’re trying to tell us something, another kid will run in and interrupt what the other one was trying to say when he interrupted the man of God! Then these two will get in a fight about an interruption, and then my peacemaker kid will come in and try to make everybody have peace. But the first one won’t have any of that; the first one stands their ground with, “But he interrupted me!” And I’m like, “You interrupted me! You don’t have the right to even have this argument!


It’s nothing but an interruption! 


When I get interrupted, I get in the flesh. When Jesus is interrupted, He gets to work. That’s the difference between us and Jesus. This is the difference between the kingdom of this world and the kingdom of God. Almost every single miracle we see Jesus do, it’s an interruption. 


Now in this world, if you’re a businessman, you get up and you work hard. But you know this: interruptions stop productivity all the time. I know this. I have a planner. It’s called the “Full Focus Planner.” When I use this planner, and I use it every day, I’m fully focused and I’m fully productive.


So if I look back on Wednesday, I see on my planner that Wednesday is a big day. A long day. On one side are the top three things I have to do. If I write it in red, it’s a priority. And then I have my To Do List written down, reminding me of the things I have to do all that day.


Let me tell you what’s not in my planner: an interruption. So when I’m going about my day and I get interrupted, I’m thinking, “You’re messing up something in the rack! I’ve got important things to do, and you’re getting in my way with your little bitty know-nothing interruption.” 


Is anybody with me, or am I the only evil person in this room? You know what I’m saying? That’s my day. If you mess up my planner, I cannot be fully focused. I want to be fully focused. 


But when it came to interruptions, this is what Jesus would do. He turned them into kingdom moments. If you’re in here and you’re like, I’m not seeing any miracles, I want to ask you this: Are you being interrupted? Because you can live at such a Mach 4 level that you miss the people, and the moments, and the conversations to see God do a miracle in and through your life. 


Listen. My availability gives God the opportunity to do a miracle through me. 


So you can be hard at work, but when it’s time to do something for the Kingdom, you have to flip a different switch and say, “Right now, this interruption needs some spiritual focus because maybe God has carved this moment out in my day to use me to see God do something in somebody else.”


In this passage, Jesus is teaching a crowd when a guy named Jairus comes up and says, “It ain’t about the crowd. It’s about my daughter. She’s sick.” All right. So while Jesus is going to see this guy’s daughter, there’s a woman who goes, “No, it’s about me, and I need to get to the hem of his garment.” This miracle is an interruption inside of another interruption. 


Isn’t Jesus beautiful?  Do you know what you need to take out of this? I’ll tell you a few things:


  • You never bother God. 


He’s got big things to work on, but he ain’t got nothing bigger than you. He’s got things in the Middle East. He’s got famines in the world. “All I got is a little problem.” He goes, “Oh. I can’t wait for you to interrupt me because when you interrupt me, I have power for interruptions.” I put it down in my journal this way, God turns interruptions into eruptions. 


He has power for you when you say, “I don’t mean to bother you, but I need to bother you.” Jesus goes, “You’re not a bother. 


  • God wants us to reach a crowd and reach one person at the same time. 


We need to reach as many people in a 25-mile radius of this church that we can possibly reach. Why? Because Heaven is real, and hell is real. We’ve had 150 people since the first Sunday in January make a decision for Christ in this house.


We had 30 people baptized last weekend. I love it! But we can’t move so fast that we miss one person who’s hurting, one person who is broken. We are going to reach every person we can, but every person is an individual to Jesus, and he knows them by name.


Jesus goes, “I can minister to large crowds of people and halt that moment for a lady with an issue of blood.” You don’t bother him. He holds two things at once: the crowd and the one. That’s why we gotta move fast to reach people and slow to love people. 


2. Get low. 


You gotta get low.  This woman got her miracle because she got low. Until you humble yourself, you’re not gonna see everything that God has for you. Okay, here’s a bad Illustration, but you won’t forget it. 


It’s like going to the refrigerator. I go to the refrigerator, and I say, “Babe! Where’s the spaghetti?”


She says, “It’s in the refrigerator!” 


I said, “Baby, it’s not in the refrigerator. It’s not there.” I’m looking everywhere. It’s not there. But Brook comes in and she goes, “It’s on the bottom shelf.”


Now, let me tell you something. In my house, if you’re going to get everything out of the refrigerator, you have to be an umpire. You have to get low. And when I got low, I saw things in there from the Trump administration! Do you know what I’m talking about? I haven’t seen them forever. But there’s the spaghetti. It’s low. 


Everything comes into focus. When you get low, you humble yourself. You begin to see the things of God differently than when you’re up here. It reminded me of a game that Austin and I went to and saw the Razorbacks play LSU a couple of years ago. Austin is decked out in LSU gear, head to toe. That’s how he goes to the game. A member here at New Life gave us tickets on the third baseline. The only thing he said was, “Just don’t be obnoxious.” I said, “Who, us?” And so, we get there, and in the first inning, LSU gets a double and a home run. It’s two to nothing. And when this guy hit a bomb, Austin stood up, put out his purple, and threw up L’s to the crowd around. Austin was like, “What? Normal day! Normal day!”


Then Arkansas scored 14 unanswered runs. And every time they scored, they would look at us and wiggle little woo hands, you know? And I realized, Don’t be standing when you should be sitting. Watch what the woman in Mark 6 does. 


She goes low. 


This is the difference between this woman and everybody else.


Everybody else is standing around Jesus, but she’s getting low. It doesn’t matter how long you have a problem in your life. You’re gonna have that problem in your life until you humble yourself. She said, “If I could just touch the hem of his garment.” 


Did you see those tassels? That’s from Numbers 15. These men of God would wear four tassels on their robes. Those tassels are a reminder of the law of God. Those tassels reminded the man of God that he’s got a law to keep. Those tassels reminded the people of God that there’s a law for us to keep. And it’s the Word of God. And this is what she’s thinking, “If I can just touch that tassel.”


That word touch in the Greek means, “If I can grab it.” This is what she’s saying: “If I can grab a word off of him, maybe that word would work for me.” When you have a problem going on in your life, and you have an issue going on in your life (because all of us come to Jesus with an issue), you walk around like this, “I got a little bit of issue, but I’m figuring it out. We’re working on a few things.”


You’re gonna be working on a few things for a long time. Or, you can get low and go, “I gotta find a word.” That works for me because something happens when desperation hits humility, and you go after a word, and then you find out it is the living word. 


Secondly, she wanted His tassel.


Not any old tassel to do. I want His tassel.


There’s a lot of words and a lot of teaching and a lot of people out in the world. You can find Dr. Phil, Oprah, and somebody on a podcast, but they don’t have the power you need. They might be inspirational, and it might be a meme that you’ve fallen in love with, but when you humble your heart and say, “I need a word from Jesus, the written word and the living word.” 


Power came out of him. 


Do you understand this?  This is the walk of faith that we have, where we go, “God, I need to be in your presence and I need one word from You.” There is a vision we have for this house, and this is a mandate that God has for us, that this is a place where you can get into the presence of God and get under the teaching of the Word of God. And those two things, when they collide together in your heart, are a recipe for an encounter. You gotta get low. 


Psalm 126:6

Those who sow their seed in tears will reap with songs of joy. 


This woman is the physical manifestation of Psalm 26. Let me tell you what it is. A farmer would be going broke, and in ancient Israel the farmer would have to decide, “Am I gonna sow the seed? Or eat the seed?” Sometimes he’d go, “Honey, we’re not eating it. We’re going to sow it.” 


And she goes, “Whoa, if you sow this seed, we’re going to starve to death.” 


And he’d go, “If we eat the seed, yeah, we’re going to starve to death in about 90 days.  This is all we got left in the tank.” And the man of the house would go, “We’re not going to eat it. We’re going to sow it, and we’re going to put our trust that God is going to be our provision. So let’s put this seed in the ground.” 


This is what happened. He would sow the seed, and his wife would come back behind the seed with her prayers of intercession and wet the ground with her tears. And his seed was being sown and her tears were in the ground. God said, “That’s a heart I will always honor—when you get desperate and say, “I’ve been struggling  for five years with this, three years with this. We’ve been fighting about this problem for 12 years. I’ve got nothing left in the tank.  I’m out of time.  I’m out of energy. I’m out of resources. This is all I got left.” 


Most people, when they’ve lost faith in man, they lose faith in God. But that’s not what the woman with the issue of blood did. She did this: “I’ve lost faith in man, and all I got left, I’m going to sow it towards a man named Jesus.” And she reaped in songs of joy. 


When you are empty on the inside, and you say, “God, I’m going to give You another shot, and I’m going after You,” and in prayers and tears you pray and cry out to God, He says, “I’m going to meet you at your point of need.”


3. Tell the whole truth.  


At once, Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 


“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “You ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 


But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet, trembling with fear. She told him the whole truth. 


He said to her, “Daughter,  your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Here’s a better translation: the King James Version. 


“He said unto her, ‘Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole.’”


Woo! This is a big deal and a big truth you have to get. She told him the whole truth  and then she was made whole.


When I was growing up, my dad would look at me and say, “Marcus, a half truth is a whole lie.”


I’d say, “What are you talking about?” He’d say, “You know what I’m talking about. A half truth is a whole lie.” 


I was a master at making half of the truth beautiful.


I’d come home, and dad would ask, “How did the English test go today?” I’d respond, “It’s great!” 


He’d keep pressing, “Well, tell me about it.” 


I’d keep smoothing it over, “Well, I thought it was a very organized test.You know, I thought the teacher did a really good job putting the questions together. I finished the test on time, alright, and then it was, it was really nice outside. We got to play after the test, you know.” And I would tell him everything about it, except the one thing he wanted to hear. 


He’d continue, “Well, how did you do on the test?” 


I’d say, “Oh, don’t worry about that.” 


Don’t worry about that. But the longer you’re a believer, this is what you’re going to do. You give God half truths. But it’s when you say all of it. The whole truth. Everything going on in your life. 


Jesus is walking. She touches the hem of His garment. Power goes out of Him. Okay?  Jesus is so much better than me. I’d have just kept walking. I would’ve said, “I got somewhere I gotta be. Somebody got a little something.” 


But if he would have walked on, she would have thought she stole something from God.  If he’d have walked on, she’d have had a blessing without a relationship. But Jesus didn’t want to give her a blessing. He wanted to give her a relationship. So, he causes some theater to happen: “Who touched me?” 


She is so scared to tell him the whole truth, thinking, “Because man has taken everything from me, is God going to take everything from me too? I finally got something working for me. Is this going to be taken away? Am I about to be shamed in front of everybody?”


I’m telling you, this is a bigger faith than seeing, than thinking that Jesus can help you. This is a bigger faith. You know what this faith is? Getting honest with God. She emptied the bottom of her heart. 


If you tell Jesus everything you’ve been holding back from Him, He’s not going to berate you, He’s going to befriend you. And if you tell Him the deepest, darkest things that are going on in your life, do you know what He’s gonna say to you? “Welcome home, son.  Welcome home, daughter.” She tells him the whole truth. She’s made whole. 


What happens in the middle? He looks at her and he calls her something he hasn’t called anybody else. He looks at her and he says, “Daughter, you’re mine.” Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Of course! But there’s a condition to that: you have to get completely honest and open with God. Why does that matter? When you tell Jesus the whole truth, He removes the label that the world has put on your life. Then, He puts the label of who you are in Him on top of your life. 


She was known as the woman with the issue of blood to everyone. But after that, she was known as the daughter of the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!


Have you ever thought about this and personalized it that way? Like: 


I’m a son, or I’m a daughter of Jesus.  


You’re not what others say you are. You’re not your past mistakes. Some of you have made mistakes. You’ve been arrested before. You say, “I got a record.” But you’ve got no record with God. He doesn’t define you that way. You’re not worthless. You’re not your sin struggle. You’re not your diagnosis. You’re not a label this world has put on you. 


Jesus rips off labels. You’re a child of God. You are chosen. This is who you are. You are forgiven and loved and victorious. You’re part of a spiritual family. 


When you’re in this building, you’re a brother and you’re a sister. You are destined to make a difference with your life. You’re not defined by your past. You’re defined by the future that Jesus has called you into. Amen. 


We have so many things going on around New Life Church that will help you with your identity in Christ. If you’re not in a life group, you need to get in one. If your kids are not around the children’s ministry, you need to get them in there. You need to get your kids in youth. 


You say, “Well, they don’t like it.” I don’t care. I did a lot of things I didn’t like. When I was young, we went to church on Sunday morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night. My mom said, “I don’t care. You can sleep in a pew.” They drove me to church. There is power there. I learned how to get around the altar there.


If you’re a widow, join our widow’s ministry, Solo. If your campus doesn’t have one, talk to your Campus Pastor about starting one! The widows here are some of the toughest people in our church. Brook said, “We’re not doing Solo to feel sorry for people. We’re going to champion their victorious life and get them into victory with each other!”


The point is what I’ve already said. There are a lot of groups at New Life Church that will help you with your identity in Christ. If you’re not in a life group, you need to get in one. 


God’s got a brand new label for you, but you’ve got to make a step. It starts with telling Jesus the whole truth.

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