Friday, August 29, 2014

Waiting on Jesus, part 9: Who Touched Me?

And a woman who had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and could not be healed by anyone, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped. And Jesus said, "Who is the one who touched Me?" And while they were all denying it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing in on You." But Jesus said, "Someone did touch Me, for I was aware that power had gone out of Me." (Luke 8:43-46 NASB)

The woman with the hemorrhage came up behind Jesus and touched the fringe (or tassels) at the edge of His garment (prayer shawl or tallit). She had been hemorrhaging for twelve years, but, when she touched that fringe, she was instantly healed. Instantly, miraculously healed. It is human nature to attribute healing to anything except God Himself. We could easily think that it was her faith that healed her, the reaching out that healed her, or even "magic tassels" that healed her. 

Lest we deceive ourselves with foolishness, Jesus quickly set things straight. "Who touched Me?" He asked. Peter was so surprised! "Jesus, are You kidding? These people are crowding in here like a bunch of sardines! Everyone is touching You!" "No, Peter," Jesus said. "Someone did touch Me. I could feel power go from Me to them."  With those words, He clarified the source of healing. It had nothing to do with anything good in the woman or anything magical in the tassels. Healing came as a result of he power of God flowing from Jesus to the woman. Healing always comes as a result of the power of God. 

Many people touched Jesus that day. They brushed against Him as they walked along in the crowd, and later, they probably told their friends and family about touching Jesus. There was only one of those touches that resulted in healing, however. Those brushing past had a variety of reasons for being near Jesus. The woman who was healed reached out to Him with the firm hope that His power would change her, and it did. She too touched Jesus that day, and the miraculous result is one we are still celebrating more than two thousand years later. 

For what reason do you touch Jesus? Are you brushing past in the crowd, eager to finish the allotted time? Are you just part of the crowd, enjoying the show? Are you reaching out to Him with a desperate need to be changed? Just as He did that day long ago, Jesus knows the purpose of your contact. He knows why you are there, and He knows when the power flows. 

Pray today that our motivations (and those of our loved ones) for attending church services and going about the routines of our faith would be pure and that we would desire to be changed into the image of Christ so that we could be made whole. 
Link to last night's post:
Please pray for our precious brothers and sisters in Nigeria who are struggling because of the tyranny of Boko Haram and their persecution of Christians. Do not forget that they are allies of ISIS (Islamic State).