Today’s verse comes from what has to be my favourite story in the whole bible. It’s the story of the woman with the issue of blood. This story is actually a story within a story, and it unfolds as Jesus is on His way to the home Jairus, whose daughter is very sick. Whilst Jesus is making His way to Jairus’ house, through the busy streets, a woman touches the hem of His garment, and so our story begins.
This woman has been bleeding for twelve years, and has had treatment from every physician she could. It’s easy for us today to think that her issue isn’t a big deal, but in her day it’s massive. It makes her an unclean woman, an outcast, whom people shy away from. When people see her coming they get out the way, and perhaps even shout at her “unclean”. Yet here we see her in a place of desperation, in amongst the crowd. She’s heard about Jesus, and has the notion that, if she can just touch Him, she’ll be well.
This woman has nothing to lose, but absolutely everything to gain. She’s spent all her worldly wealth on different treatments, which have only made her worse. We don’t know how long it takes her to get to Jesus, but I should imagine that people push and shove her out of the way. Then finally her fingers manage to brush the hem of His Garment. It’s as if the world stops at that moment, and she knows she’s healed.
The silence and the stillness is broken into with the words “who touched My garments?” The disciples try to say it’s just the crowd, but Jesus knows the truth, and so does this woman. Scared and excited the woman comes forward and falls down before Him, telling Him the whole truth. In a public place she makes herself know and tells of all that’s happened to her in the last few years, and how she believes that if she can just touch Jesus she’ll be healed. Jesus then restores her identity by calling her daughter, in a very public place she’s completely healed.
I wonder what it is in your life which keeps you on the outskirts. Maybe it’s shame and guilt from sins you don’t seem able to get free from. Perhaps it’s fear that no one will understand you, or want you to be a friend, and you feel unacceptable. It could be that you’re carrying the wounding and burden of someone who’s sinned against you. Could it be that you have spent everything of yourself trying to put right what only Jesus can? Do you go around in circles trying to manage and keep everything looking OK on the outside, while the inside still struggles?
Then I encourage you to push through and touch Jesus today. He won’t push you away or be angry, He’s interested in you and wants to hear the burdens of your heart. Jesus’ desire is to restore you to the fullness of who He created you to be. So push through the doubts and fears which seem to crowd in on you, and reach for Jesus. ‘Who touched My garments?’
Prayer: Oh Jesus, today I long to speak to You and tell You the whole truth. There are things which are troubling me, and which I don’t seem to be able to overcome. I know You’re the only one who can forgive my sins and heal the wounds of sins against me. I’m sorry that I haven’t truly come to you before, but today I know there’s no other way, so I’m reaching out to touch You, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
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