Touching Jesus

Touching Jesus

Luke 8:40-48
40 Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.  45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 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. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
As a fairly introverted and shy person, I don’t know if I could have ever faced the crowd of people. In addition, explicitly asking for help is not my strong suit. Finally, I tend to avoid situations with higher rates of failure than success. Hence, my admiration for this woman with the issue of blood runs deep. Not just because of what she received but also what she was willing to risk and go through to get it.
Life is hard. I am not depressed. Nor am I some bitter pessimist. The hardness of this fact is even acknowledged several times in the Bible. Sometimes, we end up in detrimental situations for so long that they become our new normal. After so many failures, loss of resources and support, or family and friends and family slowly writing us off, we often start to write ourselves off as well. What’s even sadder is that we can get so used to the suffering that we don’t even realize when we have given up.
We never learn this woman’s name, where she came from, or her age. We just know that she was sick and had been so for 12 years. Further, we know that because her sickness involved bleeding, she was virtually an outcast from society. If she was married, she couldn’t be with her husband either. Yet despite the risks of being punished or severely beaten, she fights her way through a mob of people and touches a very preoccupied Jesus. (I love that Jesus stopped because he felt power had left him).  In spite of all that could have wrong, Jesus recognizes that he was purposefully touched and demands to know who did it. Once again she pushes past the risk of being recognized by someone else and makes her self known to Jesus. Our Savior responds to her, “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
If there is a frustrating or painful situation in your life that has misshaped you or rendered your powerless, then I recommend that you reach out and touch Jesus. I declare that Jesus is real and if you are willing to believe in him, you can feel his presence directly in your life. However, Luke 8 is also a painful reminder that touching the living Jesus isn’t always easy. For some of us, touching Jesus may require fasting. For some of us, touching Jesus may require volunteering our time. For others, touching Jesus may require speaking out against discrimination and bigotry.  For others, touching Jesus may require better money management. For others, touching Jesus may require hanging out in areas where we are not welcomed.
Indeed, touching Jesus may put us in embarrassing, dangerous, or stressful situations. Yet once we touch him, even if it is only for an instant, we can be delivered, healed, and made whole. After touching, the woman’s bleeding stopped. However, that was only the beginning. Scriptures never tell us what became of her. We don’t learn if she had children. We don’t know if, like the woman at the well, she went and brought others back to Jesus. We don’t know if, like Salome, she became of big supporter of Jesus’ ministry. We don’t even know how long she lived after touching Jesus. On a certain level none of these questions matter. What matters is what we do know. We know that after touching Jesus, she received portion of his power. She was now empowered to live an abundant life, a peaceful life, a productive life, a delivered life, and a redeemed life.
We were not created to live in misery. Reach out and touch Jesus today. See and feel what his power can do for you!
Cecil Lettsome

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