DayBreaks for 01/09/2019: A Morsel or a Feast?
From the DayBreaks Archive, 01/05/09:
“If I can only touch his robe,” she thought to herself. The poor woman had been bleeding for years. No one had been able to alleviate her suffering. There was one more hope, one more chance – and she knew she had to take it. The Rabbi was coming to town and he was the talk of the village. The things he’d done elsewhere were incredible – or at least the stories of them were! He’d healed the lame, given sight to the blind – even those blind since birth! There were even stories about him raising the dead. It was worth a chance – it was the last option she could think of.
But the crowds were so large – and she was so embarrassed by her condition. How could she ever talk to him? And then it dawned on her, “Maybe I don’t need to talk to him. Maybe he doesn’t need to touch me. Maybe it’ll be enough if I can just touch his robe.” And so, casting caution to the wind and subjugating her fears, she pressed into the crowd. It was hard to see where he was through the many bodies, but suddenly, there he was – right in front of her. Did she dare reach out to touch him? Others were. He was being bumped and jostled. But did she have the courage?
Finally, she stretched out her arm and barely touched the hem of his robe. And immediately, he stopped and turned, and she was in the spotlight – the very last thing she ever wanted. “Who touched me?” he asked. “It was me,” she stammered, eyes wanting to turn down to the ground in shame, but somehow she couldn’t tear her eyes away from his. But she was healed.
In this miracle, recorded in Mark chapter 5, there are several things worth grasping:
FIRST: the part of the woman in what happened was miniscule. She just reached out. What she did isn’t as important as the fact that she did something. She wasn’t content, in her need and misery, to just sit and hope Jesus would bump into her. She was tired of being sick and wanted to be healed – now, today. We are often far to content to remain in our sickness. After a while, it becomes a part of our identity – and some even seem to revel in their misery and telling others how miserable their life is. None of that for this woman. There should be none of it for us, either! Her healing started when she reached out to Jesus. It’s the same with us.
The next two lessons are unique to this story in the Bible. It’s not recorded that they happened anywhere else, but Mark took the time to point them out for us, and I’m glad he did:
SECOND: Jesus healed the woman before he even knew it. I suppose this could be debated – being God, he certainly knew she was there, but his statement, “I felt power go out from me” is only made here and not in any other case of healing. There wasn’t any fancy light show, trumpets blaring, or public pronouncements of “Watch this, folks…just watch what I’m going to do for this woman.” It just happened before Jesus could even apparently think about it. As Max Lucado put it, it seems as if the Father short-circuited Jesus for a moment – the Divine Christ was a step ahead of the human Christ. No hoopla. Just healing. This tells me that God/Jesus are eager to heal…perhaps just waiting for us to reach out and make some effort, as did this woman.
THIRD: when Jesus addresses this woman, he calls her “Daughter.” He never says that to anyone anywhere else – not to Mary Magdalene, not to Mary or Martha, not to anyone that we know of. If you were that woman – full of fear and trepidation, singled out in front of the entire crowd who has grown silent, listening to the interchange – how do you think it would have made you feel to hear him tenderly call you, “Daughter” and not “Woman…” or “You…”?
Tolstoy wrote of a time he met a beggar on the street. Tolstoy reached into his pocket to give the man some money, but found there was nothing there. Tolstoy said, “I’m sorry, brother, but I have nothing to give you.” The beggar’s face lit up and he said, “You have given me more than I asked for – you have called me brother.”
To the loved, to the desperate, to the lonely and love-starved, a single word is not just a morsel, but a feast!
Prayer: Almighty Creator, Loving Father – thank you for wanting to heal us. Give us the courage to reach out. Help us hear your Son’s voice as he calls us “son” or “daughter”. May we rest in Your everlasting goodness! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>