Recently, while reading my way through the Gospels, I was again challenged by the story of the woman with the issue of blood who sought Jesus out in the midst of a great crowd. Jesus had just said that He would go to attend to the sick daughter of an important man. This was evidently a big deal to many people for the Scriptures tell us that, after He agreed to go, a great throng of people followed Him (Luke 8:42).
In the midst of the throng of the multitudes the unclean woman with an issue of blood makes her way through the crowd just to touch the hem of His garment. She sees Jesus wearing a prayer shawl which has the blue tassels hanging from the corners of it, thus denoting that He was a Rabbi or a teacher. The one wearing a prayer shawl was seen to be someone who was seeking to keep the Covenant God had made with His people (Numbers 15:38-39). In her mind, she’s coming to worship, just as she’s seen the synagogue ruler do, but she knows that being unclean with an issue of blood she can’t approach Jesus as the ruler did, head on.
The exchange that follows her touching a tassel, or a tzitzit, on the hem of His garment is a challenging and telling one. Jesus immediately asks, "Who was it that touched me?" The disciples are amazed that Jesus would ask that and Peter responds with, "Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!"
Which brings me to the challenging point of the whole encounter for me. This story tells me that many throng Him, or crowd round Him, but few really touch Him. I suppose we could also say that many believe in Jesus, but far fewer actually follow Him in their daily life. But if we’re serious in seeking Jesus, He’ll stop dead in His tracks, turn, and want to encounter us one-on-one… personally. Despite all that may be going on around Him or in relation to Him, He’ll still take time for the one person who’s serious about seeking Him and worshipping Him for who He is.
Prayer: Jesus, don’t let me be just one of the crowd. Help me to be one who’s not afraid to touch the hem of Your garment, seeking You for who You are. Let me not be afraid to worship You, and acknowledge You before all those who may throng You but aren’t touching You. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.