Desperate

A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.

At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”

His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!”

But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.

Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.” (Mark 5:25-34)

Jesus doesn’t care about the proper paperwork. It’s not like trying to get the right forms or find the right lines at some government office. Jesus will let you come however you want. All that matters is that you come.

When the hemorrhaging woman heard about Jesus, she decided that he would be able to help her. What was the basis for her belief that touching the fabric of his robe would fix her problem? Had she heard of any similar healings? Were there stories in the Bible about such things? No, but she knew he had the power to heal.

However, according to ceremonial law, if he touched her or anything that belonged to her, she knew that he would be ceremonially unclean until sunset. And he might not want to become defiled like that. But if she merely touched the hem of his garment, then he could be spared such ceremonial defilement.

In fact, she believed that in the press of the crowd, he would never even have to know anything had happened. But when Jesus stopped and made a search for who had touched her, she feared the worst, even though she had been healed. But Jesus didn’t want to publically humiliate her. Instead, he wanted to publically let everyone know about her faith.

Jesus cherishes human faith.

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About R.P. Nettelhorst

I'm married with three daughters. I live in southern California and I'm a deacon at Quartz Hill Community Church. I spent a couple of summers while I was in college working on a kibbutz in Israel. In 2004, I was a volunteer with the Ansari X-Prize at the winning launches of SpaceShipOne. Member of Society of Biblical Literature, American Academy of Religion, and The Authors Guild
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