Sunday, September 13, 2009

More than the Hem

Recently I was meditating on the story of the woman with the blood disease who was healed by Jesus. The Spirit began to reveal some new aspects to this story, that I had never considered. I thought I'd share them with you.

We are all familiar with this story which occurred as Jesus was on His way to Jarius' house to heal his daughter. The crowd was pressing in on him in every direction. And yet, some how this woman managed to anonymously touch the tip of his garment. Instantaneously, she was completely healed. After receiving her healing, she tried to sneak away quietly, hoping Jesus would never know that she touched Him. However, Jesus stops and calls her out. He asks who touched him. Of course, this sounds like an absurd question because there were many who were touching him. And isn't He God? He should know who touched Him? Well, He wasn't looking for information, He was calling the woman to Himself. Now, what was this woman thinking when He began calling for the one who touched Him. I believe she was terrified. Here it is, this unclean woman(for she had been bleeding 12 years), had touched Him, and probably others in the process, and made them all unclean. To a Jew, that was a reason to get quite hot and bothered. She was probably thinking, "What is He going to do to me?" "What is this crowd going to do to me?" She bowed before Him trembling in fear. She explained what had just happened to her.

What happened next was unexpectantly surprising. He said to her, "Take heart. Your faith has healed you. Go in peace. Be freed from your suffering." Simple words, yet loaded with meaning. Jesus gave her a greater blessing than simply healing her body. He gave her love, grace, encouragement, freedom, joy and acceptance. He may have even restored her standing in the community. She no longer needed to live in shame and isolation as she had for years. But the greater blessing for her, is that she had a face-to-face encounter with the living God. She was allowed to look upon His face, to see His beauty, to experience His love--to know Him. I imagine that she left that encounter skipping like a school girl! She left a crowd who had just discovered another aspect of Jesus. He loves outcasts. He cares more about people than rules. He cares more about loving others than he does about Himself.

That woman came just to receive a physical healing, but Jesus in His perfect wisdom, wanted to give her so much more. I've often found myself just like that woman. I simply want to touch the tip of His garment for what I can get from Him--healing, financial blessings, problems solved, etc. Yet there are greater blessings that God wants to give us, but we must sit at His feet. We must pursue Him. We mustn't be content with just the hem. Don't get me wrong, the hem is good, grand, glorious and powerful--but it's only the tip. He wants us to taste, to see, to hear, to experience the richness of His glorious inheritance--knowing Him. He wants us " know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Eph 3:19.

He's calling you today into a face-to-face encounter with Him. Can you hear Him calling out, "Who touched me?"

From one seeking to know Him.

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