"As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 'Who touched me?' Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, 'Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.' But Jesus said, 'Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.' Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.'"
- Luke 8: 42b-48
I love this story because it's about our need. This story of the sick woman (she had been bleeding for 12 years!) is a story about us. It is also a story of the gospel: our need for Someone to save us.
Jesus doesn't discriminate. He is on his way to the home of a wealthy ruler when he is "interrupted" by this very poor, sick woman. He doesn't hesitate for a second to find the woman in the crowd and heal her. He could have easily continued walking, ignoring her in order to stick to his "schedule."
Schedule...hahaha. Nothing in life is random. I think about the little "interruptions" I have in my day and how annoyed I get when my 'plan' is ruined. What a joke. These are actually divine opportunities for God to love his hurting people.
What does Jesus do first? He heals her physically. She reaches out to grab his cloak and, the instant she touches it, her bleeding stops. Twelve years of bleeding stops in the blink of an eye. That's power.
Verse 47 is my favorite one in this passage. Jesus turns around to find where his "power had gone out from him," but the woman hides in the crowd. Then, seeing that she CANNOT GO UNNOTICED...FALLS AT HIS FEET. The woman sees her NEED and knows that she can't hide from the King of kings. She is nervous and apprehensive, yet she doesn't say a word. What does she do? She just falls at his feet, vulnerable and exposed. So, now what does he do? He heals her soul. He calls her "daughter." What comfort and freedom she must have felt to know that she is now his.
We may not be literally bleeding, but everyone's soul is starving. This woman is in a state of desperation. Not until we see our own need will we reach out to grab Jesus' cloak. The crazy thing is that we are desperate, but we're too busy hiding in the crowd- behind people and behind ourselves- to let Jesus heal us.
Be relentlessly suspicious about your comfortable, satisfying life.
You'll meet Jesus when you need him as much as you need AIR.
DESPERATION is the standard and reaching for his cloak is the only way.
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