Everywhere Jesus went people wanted to touch Him, except for those who didn’t want to get close. They considered Him to be an imposter. Some folks said that nothing good could come out of His hometown. Others said He was a liar and could not be trusted. There were the folks who accused Him of teaching heresy. All of these objectors were wrong but couldn’t see how blind they were.
During the height of His popularity, people came to Him in throngs to be healed. Everywhere He went – villages, towns, and countrysides – they brought sick people to him; they laid them in the marketplaces and others begged Him to let them just touch the fringe of His cloak. In the gospel of Mark, we are told that all who touched Him were healed. His pursuers followed him from one side of the shore of the sea of Galilee to the other. People with all kinds of diseases pressed forward to touch Him.
Even His disciples became weary of the multitudes. After a strenuous day of crowds following them around, it was the disciples who suggested He send the throng away to buy their own bread because they had none to give. On that occasion, Jesus fed 5,000 men plus women and children with five loaves and two fish. The people were always there, always crowding, always begging.
It’s true that there are a few times Jesus healed when He wasn’t even with the person who was sick. There were those times when he said, “Go your way,” and then provided healing. Yet most times, the people seeking healing were so close to Him that He was able to physically touch them. He used His hands, His fingers, and His spit. Sometimes He used sand or clay. Usually, He touched the people who needed to be healed.
In the middle of those throngs of needy people one day was this woman. For twelve years, she’d had a physical problem. The biblical account refers to it as an issue of blood. No one knows for sure what her condition was, but we know that she had visited many physicians over those twelve years. She had spent all her money trying to find a cure. No one – not a single person – could bring her relief. Not a single doctor in those twelve years could find the answer.
She did what I think I’d have done if I were in her sandals and Jesus was walking on the earth. She followed the crowd to Jesus to get healing.
This woman was one of many in the crowd. She said to herself, “If I can only get close enough to touch the fringe of His robe, I will be healed.”
I tell you, that’s faith. She believed and she acted on it.
You know what makes my heart pitter-pat over this story? It is the fact that she had to get close to Him so she could touch His clothing. The power was released from Him – when she reached out and touched the hem of His clothes – the fringe of what He was wearing. Jesus, noticing that power had gone out from Him, asked, “Who touched me?”
His disciples were probably shaking their heads.
All these people clamoring around You, pushing and pressing for You to heal them – and You ask, “Who touched Me?”!
Yeah, I’d probably be saying the same thing, but Jesus KNEW. He has that power.
You know what I love about this story? You know the promise and encouragement it gives to me?
It tells me that if I want to find healing, there is only one place to go. There is only One person Who can give the healing I need. His name is Jesus!
If I really want to find healing for my burdens, I need to be close enough to Jesus that I can reach out and touch Him.
That’s close. That’s really close.
Sometimes we just want to stand back and blame Him for our problems or accuse Him of not fixing things when He could – or should. He may not fix things the way we think He should – or fix them in the timing we think it ought to be completed. We know He hates sin more than we do, so He ought to fix it, right?
Life happens, and we allow pressing people and frenzied schedules to get between us and the Master. Soon there is a distance between us and the Man we should be seeking. He becomes a friend or an acquaintance, but is no longer Lord.
When all the world is pressing around us, trampling us underfoot, there’s only one place to go.
One place to reach for: the hem of His clothing.
No matter the illness or the damage, no matter how many years we’ve struggled with our issue of blood, there is only one place to go. There simply is no other place!
When there seems to be no hope, no end in sight, no light at the end of the tunnel, there is only one place to go. We have to get so close to Jesus that we can touch Him. While He does not always bring physical healing, He heals us emotionally and spiritually when we are sincere.
Are you tired of struggling? Are you weary of the cares of this world and the burdens you are carrying?
There’s one thing you should do to find relief. Go to Jesus and let the Power from Him bring you healing. Get close – so close that you can reach out and touch Him.
You can be healed!
There’s a song about the woman with the issue of blood. It tells the story and gives the promise of God that if we will “touch the hem of His garment”, we can be healed. It’s an old song, but a goodie. You can listen to it. To hear The Nightwatch sing it, click here.