2003-06-12 - Who Touched Me?
Mark 5:30-31 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" 31 And His disciples said to Him, "You see the multitude pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" (NAS)
Both Mark and Luke record this event. I imagine that it would stand out in my memory too. Imagine that you are surrounded by hundreds or thousands of people. All they want is to see, hear or touch you. They want to say, "I was there when..."
On the surface the question seems completely absurd. I can also easily imagine being the disciple who forgets Who he is talking to when this incredulous response was uttered. "How in the world can you ask such a question with all these people smashed up against You?"
The more subtle point here is that a dozen people at a time were touching Jesus and He only made a point of the one woman who needed Him so urgently. She was at the end of her money and her own resources. She was dying and could not stop it. If her encounter with Jesus did not heal her, there was literally nothing left for her to do but get her remaining affairs in order, say goodbye to her friends and wait.
Her faith was driven by her need. She had no where else to turn. This is true of most of us. When people can manage what life is sending them they feel they are in control. This is a sad illusion, and can be eternally critical. There are so many things that are beyond our control even with our current state of technology and medicine. SARS and AIDS come to mind. We dare to attempt projects like the International Space Station. Please don't misunderstand. I think these endeavours are not without benefit. But we are so fragile and we think ourselves so strong. Then we are brought down to reality by something so small we can not see it, or some situation we can not control - an serious illness or injury, the death of a close friend or family member, a fight that leaves two friends alienated. It is in these types of situations where people reach for the hem of Jesus' cloak. The hope that He provides helps people finally get a sense of who they are and who God really is.
There is a love that knows no limits or boundaries, that we can scarcely begin to comprehend. But even the fragment that we can grasp is beyond our ability to contain and overwhelms us with sure peace. It is in a crisis when we find out who our friends really are - who will stick with us through every painful step. There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I recommend Him to you.
Prov 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity (NAS)
Grace & Peace,