A couple of weeks ago Danny preached a message on a passage of scripture from Mark and I simply cannot stop spinning it around in my head! You might be familiar with the passage from Mark chapter 5…
Jesus went with him, and all the people followed, crowding around him. A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding. She had suffered a great deal from many doctors, and over the years she had spent everything she had to pay them, but she had gotten no better. In fact, she had gotten worse. She had heard about Jesus, so she came up behind him through the crowd and touched his robe. For she thought to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.” Immediately the bleeding stopped, and she could feel in her body that she had been healed of her terrible condition.
Jesus realized at once that healing power had gone out from him, so he turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?”
His disciples said to him, “Look at this crowd pressing around you. How can you ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
Most Bible translations title this passage, “Jesus heals in response to faith.” To me, there are so many treasures right here in this text that give us blatant direction about how we should respond in a time of need. Are you facing a great need in your life right now? Need for provision? Need for a breakthrough personally or for someone in your family? Need for healing?
The woman in this story had tried everything to be made well and was still sick and in need. She spent everything she had and was worse off. I cannot count the times that in my human nature I have reached out to different things for peace or joy that have seriously left me worse off than when I began. I believe that’s because we are designed to rely and depend upon Jesus. We often save running to Jesus for the last resort when He alone has the power to handle our needs and trials. I believe the enemy wants to entice us to give our greatest efforts to seeking peace in every other route than Jesus, because he knows how it will leave us. Worse off than before; more hopeless than when we began.
But when this woman heard about Jesus she apparently knew something was real and different and that He had the power to finally make her whole. She said to herself, “If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed.”
This woman positioned herself where she knew that Jesus was passing by. She put herself in a place where she knew that Jesus would be walking and she knew that if she could encounter Jesus, her healing was certain. I think getting to a place of desperation in our need is often the very best position we can find ourselves in for breakthrough.
If we are really desperate for answers and relief we will be willing to break away from our normal routine and meet with God. Period. Sure, if we are believers in Jesus then He is always in us and with us, but getting to the place where we know we need a Jesus encounter because that is the one thing that will finally bring about the breakthrough we are desperate for, is necessary. Thankfully God always responds to sincere brokenness and humility. When we cry out to Him, He answers. The greatest, most pivotal points in the timeline of my walk with Jesus have been some of my lowest points, when I finally stopped seeking relief and peace in every other direction and finally sat down and got sincerely broken before my Savior. Those have been life changing moments that have brought about huge breakthroughs. Jesus wants to meet with us. He wants to speak to us and lead us. Are we to the point of moving past complaining about and worrying about and discussing our problems with everyone else and are finally ready to position ourselves to have an encounter with Jesus? I love what Isaiah 65:1 says because it is such a clear depiction of God’s heart…
“I was ready to be sought by those who did not ask for me. I was ready to be found by those who did not seek me.”
God is waiting for us to SEEK HIM. He has supplied what we need in Christ Jesus. This woman somehow perceived that and put herself in a position to encounter Him. And guess what? When she touched the hem of his robe, immediately her bleeding stopped and she was healed.
I love the next part of this passage because it says that “Jesus recognized that healing power had gone out of Him.” It’s almost as though HEALING was the natural reflex of Jesus when someone reached out to Him in faith. Just like coughing is a human reflex to something caught in the windpipe. Just like blinking is the reflex when something is about to touch the eye…when someone positioned themselves to have a Jesus meeting, and they reached out to Him in faith knowing that just one touch from Him would bring about their relief, Jesus’ reflex was to make them whole. Period.
Then Jesus asked his disciples who had touched him. Since Jesus was fully God and fully man, this question must have been asked because he wanted the woman to step out and declare what had happened to her. His disciples could see the crowds pressing all around Jesus and couldn’t understand why he’d ask about a specific person touching Him. What does that say to us?
Many, many people were crowding around. Many people who likely had great needs. But how many in that crowd were desperate enough to position themselves to encounter Jesus and knew with certainty that simply touching His robe was enough to completely heal them?
Only one woman was mentioned in this crowd.That tells me a few things about faith but one really blatant one. There is great power in realizing that all that we need is found in Jesus and it is by Him alone that our breakthrough and relief will come.
After Jesus’ question, the trembling woman told her story to the crowd. Her suffering was over.
How many other things do we reach out to before we get desperate enough to reach out in faith to Jesus, who had what we needed from the beginning? It’s in that reaching out to Him that we get the direction we need. God doesn’t do things the same way every time and as we stretch our hands out in faith fully resting in HIM as our solution-we see where and how He wants us to move forward. We see breakthrough. We know Him more.
My prayer is that God will strengthen me in this. I’ve certainly got a long way to go, but I want my first response to always be reaching out in faith to Jesus.
What is the need today? May we have the discernment to recognize the first place to run. May we reach our hands out in faith knowing that Jesus’ nature, his very reflex is to answer and respond when we simply believe Him as our solution and answer.