Wednesday, February 2, 2011

To Touch His Cloak

A large crowd followed and pressed around him.  And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” -Mark 5:24-34

"If I just touch His cloak, I will be healed."  I'm not sure there is a simpler or more earnest expression of faith in the entire Bible.  The woman had spent 12 years and all her money seeking healing for her infirmity, but all earthly knowledge had failed her.  In fact, she grew worse.  I believe at one time or another most of us have experienced this situation first hand, either in ourselves or someone close to us.  Either we or someone else is sick or broken in some way and all earthly knowledge, known cures, different medications and treatments, have been exhausted, yet we are still afflicted with whatever malady.

There is hope, and this story shows us that Jesus is that hope.  There is power in Jesus, in His teachings, in His example and in His love, that will bring great healing to the hurting, but there is a way to access it.

First, she heard about Jesus.  People were talking about this great healer who was bringing blessings to many and she heard about it.  As Christians, as people who have received healing from the Living Christ, we need to profess the blessing that have been given us to any and all who will listen, so that they too know His power and seek Him.

Second, she sought Jesus out.  She had heard about Him and sought to find Him in the crowd.  We too are to seek the face of Jesus in all we do.  We focus too much on what we do and not enough on how close we are to Him.  The bleeding woman could have gone around doing Godly things all day long, feeding the poor, tending to the widows and orphans, but if she wouldn't have taken the time to deliberately seek Jesus and get close to Him, she would not have been healed.

Third, she reached out and touched Him in faith.  In other words, she submitted herself to His power and allowed it to flow into her.  All too often, we seek the face of Jesus, but when we find Him, we aren't ready to let Him take over and allow His power to change us.  Often times we think we are seeking Jesus, but really we are just seeking justification for being the way we are or how we feel.  If we don't submit ourselves to His power and will, it will not flow in us.  Faith is what enables us to surrender.  If we don't reach out in faith, we will always cling to "back up plans", just in case God doesn't come through.

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