WOMEN CHANGED BY JESUS
One great thing about the Bible is that although it is filled with different people from a different time, it speaks to each and every one of us right where we are today. In this paper I want to introduce you to three different women -- three women who met Jesus and their lives were forever changed for the better. But first let me ask you this:
(1) Are you acrooked woman? Have you done some things that if you had to face God right now, you would not be able to hold your head up proudly?
(2) Do you have a lot ofpersonal issues? Have you been running here and there trying to find the one thing that would be the answer to all of your problems?
(3) Have you done some sinful things that you areashamed of? Are you living in sin right now?
If you answered "yes" to any of the above questions, then maybe one of these women that you are about to read about will speak to your heart. And maybe you will come to see that you, too, need to meet Jesus, as these women did.
The first story is about a woman who was crooked. Now, I don't mean that she was doing things that were illegal or dishonest. This woman's body was actually bent over and crooked. But even though your body may not be crooked and bent, some of you maybe can relate to this woman because you haven't been living your lives as straight as you should.
Here are some examples of some "crooked" behavior: Are you someone who lies so much that it has become second nature? You lie on your taxes, you lie to your boss, and you lie to your husband? Sure, to you they are just little white lies, but they are lies nonetheless.
Or maybe you steal. You haven't ever robbed a bank, but maybe you steal "small" stuff. For example, that illegal cable that you've got hooked up, or those bootlegged videos that you buy. And what about sneaking your children into the movies at the kid's price, when you know darned well that your child is already a teenager. And remember that time that cashier gave you too much change or did not charge you for an item in your basket? Well, when you kept your mouth shut about it and walked out the store feeling as though it was your lucky day, you were stealing and walking crooked.
So if you now see that your walk has been a little bit crooked, let's read about another crooked woman:
Luke 13:10-12, "And he (Jesus) was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God."
For 18 years this woman was walking crooked. How many years has it been for you? How long have you been rebelliously doing things your way? Personally, I spent about 14 years living a crooked life.
When you are living a crooked life, it can be fun for a while. But the thing that you may not realize is that sin has a price. Romans 6:23 tells us. "For the wages of sin is death." And Galatians 6:7 says, "Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."
Some of us have been walking crooked so long, that we don't even have a guilty conscience about it anymore. But someday you will face God and be accountable for every crooked act that you thought you got away with. You will reap what you have sown.
Don't you know that when you sin and live a crooked life, you end up wasting your time? You are settling for the devil's trinkets when perhaps God wants to unloose you and really show you His power. You are letting Satan rule you and you may not even know it. This woman in the Bible could not enjoy life to the fullest because of her crooked condition, and neither will you if you continue on that way. Don't you want Jesus to set you free and straighten out your life? He is waiting to tell you the words, "Woman, thou art loosed." You don't have to be crooked. You can choose to be free and upright. Meet Jesus and let Him straighten out the crooked areas of your life.
And if you have already met Jesus heart to heart, you need to do what this woman did. The end of that verse said, "And she glorified God." Christian woman, glorify God in all that you do!
Now let's read about the next woman. This was a woman who had some problems, and she spent a lot of time and money going from this person to that person trying to find the answers. But one day she finally came to the one and only person who can truly help you to solve your problems, Jesus.
Mark 5:24-28, "And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole."
How many of us are like this woman was at first? She spent all that she had going to this physician and that physician trying to be healed of her problem. We, too, have problems, "issues" in our life, and we run here and there trying to find a solution: "Maybe this relationship will make me happy. Maybe this money will bring me joy. Maybe getting high or drunk will make my problems go away. Maybe I won't be lonely if I have sexual relations with him. Maybe speaking to a therapist will help me sort out my life. Maybe if I go back to school, I will feel worthwhile. Maybe if I just keep busy, I won't see how empty my life really is." Just like this woman, we try everything but the Lord.
But then this woman came to her senses. It took 12 years, but then she finally said, If I go to Jesus and just touch the hem of His garment, I know I will be made whole. Let's see what happened once she went to Jesus.
Mark 5:29-34, "Straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? And his disciples said unto him, 'Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague."
If Jesus is your Lord, you need to have the faith that this woman finally had and take all of your cares and concerns to Christ. Stop trying to fix things your way. Your way is the wrong way. And stop going to all of those other folks to find fulfillment. That confused therapist can't help you. That godless man you are so wrapped up in doesn't love you the way Jesus will. That book or manual from school doesn't even have the answer. You don't need a manual. You need Immanuel!
And here is some more good news for you: If you are still carrying the emotional scars because your earthly father made you feel worthless, Jesus is ready to call you "daughter." Go to Jesus. Ask Him to adopt you into His family and become a child of God. The Lord will hear you when you call. He will feel you when you share your heart with Him. And He will put back together the broken pieces of your life and make you whole.
And, woman, if you don't yet know Jesus, you need to meet Him today!
And now let's look at one final woman. This woman was a known prostitute. She was looked down upon in the city. But she, too, sought out Christ, because she knew that He had the power to change her life.
Luke 7:37-38, "And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with ointment."
How many of us women have been prostituting ourselves with some old sorry man? We do it for love or we do it for material gain. Either way, if you are having sex outside of marriage, the Bible calls that behavior fornicating, and the Bible calls you a whore. If that man does not want you to be his wife, you don't need to be with him!
Well, the prostitute we read about in Luke finally saw her sins for what they really were and went to seek out Jesus. She did not care what other people thought of her -- the Pharisee or anybody else. She knew they would talk about her behind her back, but getting to Jesus was the most important thing to her. She was ready to humble herself at Jesus' feet.
Reader, are you letting the opinions of certain people keep you from admitting your need for Jesus? Maybe you know that your life isn't right, but you are too scared of what folks might think if you suddenly started talking about your need for Jesus, so you say and do nothing. Maybe your family or your boyfriend are not Christians, and you don't want them to think that you have suddenly gone "holy." Or maybe you just don't go to Jesus because you don't want to give up the "benefits" of your whoredom. Don't you realize that Jesus will love you more and give you more of the things that really matter than any man here on earth?
But be warned, Jesus said if you are ashamed of Him here on earth, He will be ashamed of you when He stands before His Father in heaven.
And, if you are already a Christian woman, here is a question for you: Does your faith show publicly, or are you an undercover Christian? Are you so busy trying to be politically correct and so sold out to this world, that the Lord can't even use you?
Well, this woman in the Bible cried real tears of repentance. She saw her life and knew the mistakes she had made and was ready to make a change. She realized that Jesus would accept her if she humbled herself. She had heard of Christ's love.
Well, let's see how the hypocritical Pharisee responded and what Jesus said of the woman.
Luke 7:39, "When the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him; for she is a sinner.
"And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee. And he (Simon) saith, Master, say on.
"There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed 500 pence, and the other 50. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?
"Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.
"And he (Jesus) said unto him, thou hast rightly judged. And he turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath washed my feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed my feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
"He said unto her, thy sins are forgiven. And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, Who is this that forgiveth sins also? And he (Jesus) said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace."
Again, this woman realized how big of a sinner she was, and when she saw Jesus, she was not ashamed to fall at His feet and worship Him. She did not care what other people thought of her. She knew that Jesus had the power to forgive her of her sins. And she loved him so much for forgiving her, that she publicly humbled herself before him.
But that verse says, "To whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little." So if you have not yet humbled yourself at Jesus' feet, maybe it is because you don't realize how much you deserve hell. Have you ever really looked at your life and saw yourself for the sinner you are? Have you ever realized how much God has forgiven you for and that He hasn't punished you as you deserve to be punished? If your love for the Lord is not great -- so great that your life has been transformed -- maybe it is because you don't have a clue about the sacrifice Christ made or what He has done on your behalf.
Woman, you cannot wash Christ's feet, but you can worship Him by the way you live your life. Turn from your wicked ways, ask for the Lord's forgiveness, and then go out into the world and make the Lord proud. Your life will never truly have peace until you do what all of these women did and get right with God. Let Jesus change you!