Just A Touch
Remember the press of the crowd when you went to a concert of your favorite artist and they had just opened the gates? You’re carried along by the power of the masses and just get used to all the pushing, bumping, and touching. The last thing anyone is thinking about is trying to figure out who touched who, but this is the hook in Mark’s account of Jesus and the woman with a twelve-year-long bleeding disorder.
Mark begins his story, however, with a dad pleading about his little daughter who is even more dire straits than the woman’s suffering.
“When Jesus had again crossed over to the other side by boat, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue leaders named Jairus came and when he saw Jesus he fell at his feet, and urgently begged him, ‘My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and place your hand on her that she might be saved and live.’ So Jesus went with him and the large crowd followed and pressed upon Jesus.
Now a woman was present who for twelve years had suffered from bleeding. She had endured all kinds of treatments by the doctors, had spent all she had, but nothing helped. In fact, the bleeding got worse. When she heard about Jesus, she got in the crowd behind him and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I can just touch his garment, he will save me.’ Immediately, her bleeding dried up and she knew in her body that she had been healed from her suffering.
Right then, Jesus knew in himself that power had gone out of him. So he turned in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ His disciples responded, ‘Look, the crowd is pressing all around you. Why do you ask, ‘Who touched me?’ But Jesus kept scanning the crowd to see who had touched him. The woman became frightened and trembled for she knew what had happened to her. She came to Jesus, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He replied, ‘Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering.’”
Jesus went back and forth across this inland sea that’s 13 miles long and 7 miles across. His popularity is still on the rise, proven by the fact that he can’t escape the crowds.
After Mark captures our attention by sending Jesus off with a synagogue ruler whose little daughter is near death, he first reveals how Jesus healed an anonymous woman in the press of the crowd. She might have believed she could just blend in and leave, but even in a crowd Jesus knows exactly who he needs to touch and not just to heal her bleeding.
I’m headed back to Kenya for the third time the last week in May and the first week in June. I remember a couple of years ago when I went in the close of the morning service during a prayer time a woman came up. Bishop Zach touched my arm, “Dave, she wants you to pray for her. She’s sick and wants you to ask Jesus to heal her.” Then he leaned over and quietly said, “And remember, this isn’t the U.S. where she can go to a well-staffed medical clinic this afternoon. James tells the elders in our churches to pray for the sick among us.” I did pray, and it was empowering to remember that Jesus knew everything about this woman and his touch didn’t just have power in the first century.
LORD, move our Truth Encounter family to pray for my upcoming trip to Kenya. Bring in the funds needed, but even more importantly, pour out your saving power, not just to heal physical diseases, but to save marriages and unite families, and to move many to receive the forgiveness that your Son alone can give.
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