Sunday, June 28, 2015

Who touched me?

Mark 5:25-34 The woman who was healed when she touched Jesus robe.

There are so many thoughts that well up as I consider this message.

Firstly, how did this woman know she would be healed by touching Jesus' robe?

Most of the miraculous healings in the gospels took place with some form of interaction between Jesus and the sufferer.

Yet this lady seemed to have no opportunity to approach Jesus due to the great crowd. Like Zaccheus, she had to think of something on the run.

Zaccheus decided he would climb a tree.

This lady decided she would touch Jesus' robe.

Faith directed her mind.

What is this faith?

It is a special part of a human being.

We all have some faith in something(s).

No matter how talented we are, faith is needed to express or exercise that gift.

At some point we take the plunge.
To some it seems obvious, to others risky, but either way, a chance is taken, based not on scientific reason, logic or proof, only trust, or maybe a hunch. This faith is also coupled with hope. It must overcome fear and self-doubt. This implies that courage and faith are connected.

Trust may be placed in something someone else has told us, or something we understand inside our hearts.

That trust can be broken or disappointed. But true trust in Jesus never disappoints.

This lady, somewhere inside herself, in the face of realizing she would not be able to present herself to Jesus in the expected manner for someone seeking help, somewhere deep inside, she was inspired. "Just touch him. If you can just touch him you will be healed".

Was this the Holy Spirit inspiring her. Was it God the Father, Was it simply the awesome presence of Jesus himself ?
It was all of these things, and it was none.
It was in fact, her faith, which we understand is a gift from God, but a mysterious and powerful gift that is only present in it's exercise.

And so this woman somehow squeezed through the crowd, reached as far as she could, and at just the right moment, the tips of her fingers brushed the edge of his robe. Nothing very significant. Just a tiny act of faith. Unlikely to be felt by Jesus. But immediately she knew and felt in her body that she was fully healed. All the money, all the effort, all the faith she had place in her previous efforts to receive healing by more accepted ways had failed, but this little act of faith, which cost nothing but  the effort required to reach through a crowd, had achieved everything she had ever hoped or dreamed.

How interesting it is that Jesus felt power go out of him.

I used to read this in my superhero mind set, thinking Jesus had a certain amount of energy which could be sapped out of him leaving him weakened. A bit like "kryptonite".
But that is me reading Hollywood into the scriptures.

Is it not possible for Jesus to feel power go out of him yet still be full of power?

It is clear that Jesus not only "speaks healing" but imparts something of himself to those he heals. Something more than words leave his body. Something that can be transmitted through touch. Yet Jesus can heal without physically touching, as he did with the centurion's servant.

But Jesus always knows when he has healed, even if he doesn't always know who he has healed, not immediately anyway.

In the crowd he could not pick out the woman, or so it seems.

Maybe he did know. Maybe it was important for the woman to publicly acknowledge her healing.

Maybe, if she had slipped away anonymously, she would have always felt uneasy about her healing, as though she had received it illegally, without the true favour of Jesus, the Messiah.

In that moment when the woman realized she was found out, what were her thoughts?

Was she now to loose her healing?
Was she to be publicly humiliated for her impetuous action?

She fell on her knees trembling with fear. She humbly confessed her action prompted by faith; faith in Jesus.

Instead of rebuking, Jesus reassures and comforts her.
He addresses her as "daughter"( Implying "daughter of Abraham", "daughter of faith", "daughter of God")
And he explains that her own faith actually healed her. Time and again we see Jesus explaining to the healed sufferer, that it is their faith, not Jesus alone, that has healed them, or maybe even not Jesus at all?

He cheerfully dismisses her with his blessing. She is forever reassured about her own faith and the love of Jesus.

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