“And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.” And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, “Who touched me?”” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” Mark 5:24-34
This passage has 3 awesome characters in it and so much to learn from each: the disciples, the woman, the Healer. I love the disciples because they are just your average people who don’t understand all what Jesus is capable of and what’s even better is that they KNEW Him and spent every day with Him and still didn’t get Him! Don’t you just know that once again, they likely thought Jesus was crazy because of what He was saying. Here they are in a huge crowd with people all over the place trying to get to Jesus. I picture a crowd like that at a concert with general admission seating where everyone is pushing their way to the best seat. Getting as close to Jesus as possible was the best seat and everyone wanted it. And in the midst of what feels like a chaotic situation, Jesus turns to the people closest to Him and asks, “Who touched me?” If I had been standing there I would have looked at Him and said, “Really? Who touched you? Well let’s see, we’ve got more people than I can count standing around with at least 20 within reaching distance of you so you take your pick on who touched you.” The disciples only saw what was immediately in front of them and that was alot of people and strange question. They hadn’t yet gotten to the place where they practiced trying to see the world through the lens of eternity and Jesus’ power. Instead of stating the obvious answer, they should have tried to dig in a little deeper and ask another question like, “How are you at work, Jesus, so we can get on board.”
The second character in this story is the woman. This woman had been bleeding for 12 years straight! That meant she was unclean for 12 years of her life. Unclean in her world meant that not only was she considered dirty, everything she sat on, the bed she slept on, her blankets, her clothes and everything she touched was also unclean. Can you even imagine that amount of disgrace and sadness this woman felt? And then on top of just the obvious pain of the shame of uncleanliness comes the physical and emotional burden of bleeding every day for 12 years. Both of these are enough to make me want to climb under a rock yet add to them that she had spent all her money trying to get help from doctor’s who couldn’t help her. Somehow, and I can’t imagine how, the Word says that she got worse! Yet in the midst of all this physical and emotion strain she had a hope. Her hope was based on her faith that Jesus could heal her. She clearly didn’t want to bother Him or talk to Him, all she wanted to do was touch His clothes. Do you get how much faith she had on such a small act? She didn’t want Him to touch her, she didn’t want Him to talk to her, she only wanted to be able to reach out and touch His clothes! How many times do we ask and sometimes even demand that Jesus do something big for us to help us have faith and yet this woman believed that if she just touched His clothes He would heal her.
The third character, of course, is Jesus. Jesus is pressed in on all sides with likely many people yelling at Him to get His attention. He’s drawing a huge crowd because many people want to be healed, they want to recieve a touch from Him that will change their lives. He is here for something so much bigger than just physical healing yet He has compassion on everyone around and heals as many as He can while still bringing His message. And in the midst of this noisy, chaotic, mob-like situation, He feels someone touch His garment in a way that is completely different from the others around. He feels His healing power leave Him through His clothes! Now, in my mind here’s what I see happening next. This small woman walks up to Him, head bent, eyes cast down and hands covering her face. She has lived the last 12 years in shame and she doesn’t know who to stand up straight anymore. She drops to her knees, face down, her body is shaking as she sobs and tries with all her might to tell Him her story. I have no doubt she’s apologizing along the way. The crowd has pushed back and created a circle of solitude between Jesus and this woman. Jesus bends down and lifts up her face, with eyes that are pouring out love on this unloved woman He tells her that she can have peace now because her faith in Him has healed her. Oh man! I want to cry right now just picturing that face of His! Can you even imagine how she feels as she makes her way through this crowd and heads home knowing that her life is now changed forever? Jesus, in the midst of chaos and people, noticed this woman’s faith, met her need and healed her.
Jesus is waiting to do that same thing for you and for me. As we move through the crowds in our lives, as we hold fast to our faith that He is a healer, as we reach out to just touch His garments, He notices us and he heals us. Does this mean He always heals us physically? Nope. But He will always change our lives in a major way and He will always bring about some type of healing even if it isn’t quite what we expect. For this woman, the bigger outcome is proof that her faith was placed in the right person, Jesus. Place your faith in Him, reach out at all cost, be determined to touch His garment and He will notice you and He will meet you in your need. Nothing in your life is too big or too small that Jesus doesn’t want to be your Healer.
Live in His love, grace, peace and mercy. If you need a prayer partner, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.