The Hem of Him
By Ed Young
August 30, 2015
Change is inevitable. Whether or not we want it to happen, it will. But sometimes in life, there are changes that we do want to happen. How can we experience those?
In this message, Pastor Ed Young looks at the story of a woman in the Bible who was desperate for change. He shows us what she did – and didn’t do – to experience the change she wanted. By following her example, we discover that the catalyst for change isn’t always what we think it is. Sometimes it simply takes a willingness to reach out.
What is it that you need to change? What is it you need to change? Maybe it’s a character defect. Maybe your pants are too loud. Maybe you’re thinking, I need to change my spouse, a hurtful habit, an addiction, a character defect. What is it that you need to change? You might be here. You could be in Dallas, Fort Worth, maybe even in Miami or the UK or the middle east watching this and you’re like, I don’t really need to change anything. I mean, I’ve got it together. If that’s you then you definitely need to change because you have a pride issue! Because the moment we say we don’t need to change is the moment we should go, “Whoa. I need to change.”
We can’t change unless we admit we can’t change. I’m talking about significant change, I’m not talking about superficial change. Yeah, we can tweak things, we can alter things. Yet what I’m talking about is true change, real change. It’s like our culture on one hand is addicted to change. We change so much. Yet on the other hand we say, “I don’t like to change.” Again, don’t think about your spouse, your kid. Don’t think about your boss, your teacher, your coach. Don’t think about your neighbor. Think about yourself. What is it that you need to change.
We provided a message map for you and it says, “I need to change” on it. Ineedtochange.com. And you’ll have some blanks that you need to fill in. And these blanks are kinda screaming, “Fill me in. Fill me in!” because there’s something about a blank, you just want to write on the blank. Get ready to write because we’re gonna talk about change.
People say, well my life has been change. God has changed my life. Can God really change a life? What does it mean to change? That’s what we’re tackling today.
Last time as I began this series of talks I said something that I want to revisit. What we cover, God uncovers. What we uncover, God covers. The Bible says in the book of Proverbs, Proverbs chapter 28, verse 13, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper.” In other words, if I cover my sin, if I cover this character defect, if I cover my lust, if I cover my anger then I’m not gonna prosper. “But whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”
When the twins were tiny we would play hide-and-go-seek. They would hide under the blanket and they thought because their father couldn’t see them they thought in their minds, and they couldn’t see their father, they thought, wow! We’re hiding! I can’t see Dad and Dad can’t see me! Wha-wha-what? Yes I could see them! I mean, they were as big as Dallas under the cover. They tried to cover up, they tried to hide. They couldn’t hid from me, I’m the father! Yet so often I’ve done the same thing. Haven’t you? I’ve tried to conceal something in my life and I think, “oh, God doesn’t see me. It’s on the down-low. No one will ever hack into that database!” There’s no such thing as a private conversation, a closed door meeting, a closed condominium door, a closed bedroom door. Everything is open before God. And God challenges us to simply uncover what we’re covering. Because when we uncover what we’re covering, God covers it.
God sent Jesus to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves: change. He is the change agent. He lived righteously, died sacrificially, rose bodily. Therefore when we come to a point in our lives when we put down the shovel – you know what that means? I’ve hit bottom. Where is the bottom? What does it mean to hit rock-bottom? What does that mean? Whenever you put the shovel down. When you put the shovel down a great exchange takes place. We trade our guilt for God’s grace, our rebellion for his righteousness, our sin for his Savior, our failures for a friend. Have you made that exchange? Because it’s a grace exchange. It’s an exchange that’s all messed up with mercy. Because see, if I cover my sin I’m not gonna prosper. But if I reveal it I’m going to receive mercy, the Bible says. And I don’t know about you. In fact, I do know about you. We all need some mercy, don’t we? And I’m messed up with mercy and so are you if you’ve made the exchange.
So the moment we make the exchange Jesus comes in. He places the Holy Spirit inside of our lives and the Holy Spirit redecorates us, changes us, from the inside out.
You’ve probably seen the popular dance The Whip, right? Well, I developed a dance last time. If you were here last time lift your hand. If you were here, OK a lot of you were. We’re gonna dance again. Hopefully you dance. Everyone stand. Now it’s gonna take some rhythm and here’s the dance. This is a dance of change, all right? And here’s what we do. You start like this: two nods – bam, bam. OK, do it with me.. 1-2-3, uh uh. Some of us got that white man overbite. Yeah, get that rhythm. Right? You go nod, boom, boom. Then take the right let, put it over the left, and then just turn. And then I know you can’t take this many steps but just one quick step and another quick step, so we got it. When we nod our head twice you know what that is? We’re confessing our stuff, our sin, our rebellion before God. Confession means to agree with God so we’re just going, all right, bam-bam. Now when we do this, that’s an about-face. We’re changing our way. That’s repentance. And when we walk, that’s obedience. So let’s do it. We gotta play this music behind… I love it. OK, boom-boom-boom-boom. All right! You were great! Unbelievable! Sit down, sit down, sit down. Even in Miami. Man, those people in Miami can dance. I mean, they can dance.
We should do that every day because it’s a process. Change is an event followed by a process. Say it with me. Change is an event followed by a process. What’s the event? The event is the exchange. And because of the great exchange we every day can confess. God, I don’t have the RPMs, the horsepower, to change. You do. I confess that to you. I’m not letting you in on a secret but I can’t change, and you’re about change.
Then I turn from it. And sometimes we have to think about that every five minutes. I turn from it, then I walk the way you want me to walk. God wants us to sync up with the Savior. That was last time. So what we uncover, God covers. What we cover, God eventually uncovers. The Bible says our sins will find us out so why not come clean now? Why not change now?
I want to introduce you to a young lady. This lady is someone that Jesus met in the gospel of Mark, Mark chapter 5. She’s known as the lady with an issue of blood. She was hemorrhaging for 12 years. That’s a long time. And when you were hemorrhaging back in Biblical times you a complete outcast. You were an outcast socially, relationally, emotionally, psychologically. It was like you were a walking dead person. No intimacy, no hugs, couldn’t go to church, couldn’t do hardly a thing. And the Bible describes this woman. She was depressed and despondent. When you dig that hole, if you look down you’ll be in depression. If you look around you’ll be worried. That’s why we’ve gotta look up. We say, God, I’m putting the shovel down. I’m ending my efforts. And that’s the first blank that’s screaming for you to fill it in. End efforts. We need to end our efforts.
This girl had tried everything. She had tried it all for 12 years to change. She obviously had some money. She threw money at doctors. She threw money maybe at self-help, glassy-eyed gurus. Nothing worked. Nothing worked. It got worse and worse and worse, the Bible says. And that’s what happens, isn’t it? Whenever we have a character defect (I talked about it last time) it’s like we walk into an elevator. We walk into an elevator and we do our own thing away from God and we’re always going down. The elevator’s going down. We don’t really realize it, though, because elevator music is going on. And we’re looking at ourselves. In elevators you always see, some of the guys are flexing. You’re by yourself in an elevator. Everything’s fine. You’re going to hit bottom! Push the emergency stop! The Bible says the compensation for our conduct is condemnation. The wages of sin is death. So if we got what we deserved it would be to hit bottom and stay at the bottom. God, because of his grace and mercy, goes, “Hey, I love you. You matter to me. I’m just looking at you. I want you to reach out and touch me because when you do I will change your life.” That’s what God’s saying to you, that’s what God’s saying to me. And that’s what happened to this girl. She had tried it all and the Bible says, you can read it in Mark 5 about Jesus, she heard about it. She heard about it.
Well, she could have heard about the haters. Oh, who is this Jesus guy? This gentile? This faith healer? This crazy guy? Isn’t it interesting about social media? No matter who you are, no matter where you go, social media, you’ve gotta wade through stuff to get to the truth. And she was like, “Well, some people call him Lord. Some people call him Savior. I’m gonna try it. I’m gonna test the waters. I’m gonna see if he is the Son of God, if he is the Messiah.”
So Jesus is walking through town. In fact he’s going to heal, to bring back to life, a religious leader’s daughter. That’s a whole ‘nother message. I just wanted to tell you the context. She sees this crowd of people pressing in on Jesus. Now if we could modernize it, everyone is just like wanting to touch Jesus. If it were today, let me get a selfie! I got a selfie with Jesus! Look! People just pressing in, the disciples trying to keep people away. No, no, get back! Get back! They were kind of the bodyguards. A crowd of people, the Bible says. A crowd of people.
There are different people in a crowd, have you noticed that? In the crowd. We have a huge crowd at Fellowship Church. Many campuses, many people, many people watching online. We have communication and connections with people all around the world. It’s crazy, the technology. I love it!
Well, certain people in the crowd are gonna be close to the leaders like the disciples were. They’re gonna be close to people who are walking with Jesus. They’re gonna be close to people who see it different, who see a change. There’s always people like that in the crowd. We have a bunch of people like that at Fellowship. Man you guys are awesome. There are always other people in the crowd who are kinda just close enough, just to get a little blessing but they aren’t really fully committed. You know what I’m saying to you. Kinda like fair-weather fans. I know we don’t have those in Dallas or Miami but they’re like, OK, I wanna be close! And then there are some who are on the edge. I mean, people on the edge this miracle happened that we’re gonna see and they were like, whoa! What happened, man? People are cheering and freaking out! I don’t know what happened! They’re just kinda a little bit out there and that’s OK. We love everybody but we have different people in the crowd. And I’m sure back in this day there were different people in the crowd.
So this lady, she had to come to an end of her effort and she had to fight through the crowd to get to Jesus. Jesus was talking to a heavy hitter and she could have said, “Man, I’m a little bit scared coming up to Jesus because he’s talking to this rich and powerful person.” Have you ever been at a party or social gathering and you want to talk to somebody. And you’re like, well I better not walk up to them because they’re talking to someone who’s really powerful and who am I? We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I don’t want to butt in. Well, this lady was desperate. She put the shovel down. She’d been outcast for 12 years. She was a walking dead person. She was like, I’m gonna go for it. And the Bible says she had just a little bit of faith.
I love that because many times in my life, and I’m a pastor, I just have a little bit of faith. Sometimes I have more faith. Sometimes it’s mustard seed faith. And Jesus promises you and he promises me even when we have mustard seed faith he will change our lives. Isn’t that great to know that? Some people worry because they go, I’ve got doubts. Good! Doubt your doubts! Doubt means you have faith. I say all the time without doubt you have certainty and with certainty there’s no faith. So we live by faith.
This lady had faith, “This guy can heal me.” And if you do your research, Jewish teachers wore white robes and Jesus could have had a white robe on (we’re not sure) with blue tassels. And some said if you just touched the tassel, the blue tassel, things could happen. So I’m sure she thought well, if I just touch his garment… But here is the holy tension. This is weird. This is crazy. It’s not like this in our culture. This lady was defiled. She was unclean. She couldn’t touch anybody. For her to touch somebody meant that they were defiled. So she was like, well I’m gonna come up behind Jesus, I’m gonna come up behind him and I’m gonna touch his clothes. And she knew if she touched his clothes she would defile him. Yet she was that desperate. Put the shawl, I’m sure, over her face, fighting through the crowd. Every person she touched, unclean, defiled, defiled. The Bible says she reached out and touched the hem of him. She touched the hem of Him. She touched the unclean and did she defile him?
Well, later on we realize that our sins defiled Jesus, that he became sin, took your sin and mine, your wrongdoings and mine, on the cross, rose again. He was sinless yet that time on the cross he voluntarily took our defilement upon himself.
After Jesus was touched something strange happened. If you keep reading, Jesus looked around and was like,
“Somebody touched me!” And the disciples were like,
“Hahaha! Well, I mean everybody’s around you. What do you mean somebody touched you? Everybody’s touching you, all this crowd.” And Jesus was like,
“No, no, no.” He felt the healing power leave his body. So the first thing this lady did and the first thing I challenge you to do, we need to learn from her, is we need to end our efforts. Put the shovel down.
Secondly, and here’s what she did, we need to stop our shame. There’s no shame in our game at Fellowship. That’d be a great t-shirt. I might do that. I love t-shirts, you know that. I love to design t-shirts. I’m a frustrated designer. That’d be cool. No shame in our game… Fellowship Church.com. I love that. No shame!
So this girl heard about Jesus, she saw the crowd. She could have gone, “Well there’s too many people. I’m not sure. I don’t feel like it. I’m depressed. He can’t change my life. He’s talking to some rich person.” She could have said that, all these excuses. She heard about Jesus.
Now let me stop for a second. Today we’re gonna hand you these invitations to this incredible series, this incredible series called Quarterback. I’m sitting down with these guys. This is unbelievable we’ve got these interviews. Troy Aikman, for a long time, you’ve never heard Troy like this. Tony Romo, again where has he done an interview like he’s gonna do with us. Ryan Tannehill, quarterback for the dolphins, and RG,III. Pretty cool. We’re gonna talk to these people about leadership and what it means to quarterback, and what the Bible says to that. OK, if you can’t invite someone to that? If you can’t hand this out? Man, come on! This is like-bam! I mean everybody and their iguana! Every frustrated All-American we can imagine should be at this series! That’s a way someone can hear about Jesus! And many people will end their efforts. They’ll stop their shame.
What is shame? You ever have any shame? Shame is this emotion, it’s this painful emotion caused by the awareness of having done something wrong or foolish. Have you ever felt shame? There should be no shame in our game. The only person that brings up shame in your life and mine is the enemy. So when you hear shame… “Oh, you don’t deserve that!” … when you hear shame’s voice… “Do you realize what you did five years ago? God can’t use you anymore.” When you hear that, just look at shame and say, “Who’s your daddy?” because the devil is shame’s daddy. Don’t let the devil steal, kill, and destroy your life. Jesus called him out, John chapter 10, “The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.”
This Wednesday morning – you won’t believe this but this is a fact – someone robbed me at my house. And we have them on our video surveillance. I want you to watch this. They drive up on a Vespa. OK watch, watch. They go inside the gate. Kids left the gate open. That’s nice. Look, there he is. goes inside my car with a flashlight. Takes my favorite sunglasses – I had two pair – wallet. I had some gift cards. Gone, in the car. Some idiot didn’t lock my car. There he goes. Look. Is that crazy? On video. And we’re gonna catch him. This gift card was from Neiman Marcus, someone gave me. So I’m like, man! I’m gonna go and make sure they can cancel the gift card and get my money from it. So I show up at Neiman Marcus and they go,
“I’m sorry, sir. This gift card was spent two hours ago.” Missed them by two hours. Man, I felt violated. I still feel violated. I want to body-slam those people. I really do, when I see them. I’m gonna catch them. But my first thought after being hurt was, man, our kids they left that gate open. Blaming our kids. Isn’t that the way we are? I love to have someone to blame. Eve sinned, she blamed Adam. Then Adam blamed the snake, and the snake didn’t have a leg to stand on. Blame. Blame.
Don’t let the enemy steal your identity! My identity’s gone right now. I don’t have a wallet, no license, no credit cards, gone! That’s what the enemy can do if you allow shame to rule your world. Don’t leave your gate open! Protect yourself! Surround yourself with the right ‘they’ and end your efforts! Stop your shame! God has forgiven you. You are cleansed. You might have to say that, I don’t know, every hour. Who’s your daddy? Who’s your daddy?
“Man, something wrong with you? You talking to yourself.”
“No, I’m just talking to the devil. Get out of my face. Don’t bring up what’s already under the blood of Jesus.”
So the Bible says in Mark 5:33, “Then the woman, after she touched the hem of him, knowing what had happened to her came and fell at his feet.” Now that, that’s awesome. Fell at his feet. So she could have like, OK, I touched him. Bam! She felt the healing. She could have just kinda slipped away. She didn’t. because Jesus said,
“Who touched me?” Put the spotlight on her. And this girl, here’s a third thing, she faced her fear. She ended her efforts, she stopped her shame, and she faced her fear. Trembling with fear she told him the whole truth. We’re only as sick as our secrets.
I used to live in a neighborhood and when I drove to my house there was a house I would drive by that was just junked out. You know, all this crapola, jibbeldy-junk everywhere. And I called the people that lived there, I just made this name up, Jan and Jill Junkster. Some of you don’t remember the show Sanford and Son but that’s what their yard looked like. Cool house, totally junked out. And I was sometimes, “Lisa, can you believe that? What are these people smoking, man? What are they doing?”
And she was like, “Ed, Ed, that’s all right. We need to worry about our house.”
So often when I am convicted about something in my life I want to go, oh yeah, but how about him? How about all the Sanford and Son stuff in their yard? No, no. You keep your side of the street clean. God will take care of the rest.
This girl meets Jesus. Jesus says, “Who touched me?” She knelt before him, told him the whole truth, and then Jesus called her daughter. The only time in the gospels he used the word daughter. That’s that personal relationship. Why did Jesus call her out publically? Every time <rewind sound effect>… Every time <rewind sound effect>… Every time Jesus called someone to himself he called them publically. Private decision? Boom! Public. Why? Three reasons.
#1 – I believe he called her out because he wanted her to know not only am I your healer, I’m your Savior and friend.
#2 – He wanted to give this heavy hitter Godfidence, faith, that his daughter was gonna be OK.
#3 – He wanted this girl who had been hemorrhaging to have a testimony, to tell others. Man, I was hemorrhaging, I was despondent, I was depressed. Jesus saved me. And the Bible says not only did he heal her but there was a complete, total change in her life.
Put down the shovel. Close the gates. Face your fear. God will change your life. He’s changing your life and will change your life.
“Well, Ed, that story happened 2,000 years ago. I mean, it’s cool how you modernized it but I mean…” Well I want you to meet someone. A young woman who is sitting in one of these seats right here with a very similar circumstance.
Is that absolutely unbelievable? Allison, come up here if you would. Allison is on the front row. What an amazing story, Allison. And now Allison is a part of our staff. She just graduated from the University of Next Level. She is a walking, talking woman who has changed her life because she gave it all to the Lord. She gave it all to the Lord. And Allison, you know what? Today I want to do the same thing that I did several years ago. I want to give you an opportunity to give it all to the Lord. You might be going, “Ed, how do I do that?” You do that by simply saying,
“Jesus, I can’t change. I believe you came. You lived. You died. You rose again for my change. And I ask you, Jesus, to take control of my life.” The Bible says if you keep reading in the book of Mark immediately – immediately, the woman was changed. So immediately if you agreed with me when I said that, here or at one of our many locations, you have been changed for eternity. It’s a private decision. Now let’s make it public. So I’m gonna ask you at all of our locations, because we all have lobbies, I’m gonna ask you not to walk forward but to do a 180 in a couple of moments when I count to 3 and do exactly what Allison did. I want you to make your way out to the lobby because we have people who will baptize you. We have baptismal uniforms for you, changing areas. Some are like, man, I want to get baptized in my clothes. You can get baptized in your clothes. We have even seat covers and floor mats so you’ll not ruin your car. How about that? It’s time, though, to reach out and touch the hem of Him. Because Jesus now is looking around. Who will go public? Who is going to put the shovel down? Who will end their efforts? Who will stop the shame? Who will face the fear and come out of the shadows and into the light? God is waiting for you. Your father is waiting for you.
Let’s bow our heads. Every head is bowed and every eye is closed. If you have never said, “Jesus take control of my life. I admit to you what you already know about me, God. I believe, Jesus, you died on the cross for my sins and rose again, and at this moment I ask you to take control of my life.” If you said that with just a mustard seed faith your eternity has been changed. Jesus is inside your life. Now make that public. Every time Jesus calls someone to himself he said to go public. On the count of 3 I’m gonna ask you here and at all of our locations to go toward the lobby and get baptized.
1 – don’t put it off.
2 – we have a lot of Allisons out there. When I say 3, you go.
3 – Don’t hesitate! You go now! People are moving. It doesn’t matter where you are at any of our campuses, at any of our locations, you make your way out to the lobby and we will baptize you. This is what Fellowship Church is all about. An event followed by a process.