A little over a year ago, a friend of ours passed away. We got a chance to get reacquainted for a short time before he died. We had known this man from the first church we attended when we moved to this state. In one of our conversations, he posed an interesting question. He asked, if we had the opportunity to be anyone in the Bible, who would it be?
Of course the important names came to mind, like Esther, Sarah, Eve, Mary. After thinking about it more seriously though, I thought of the woman who followed Jesus and knew what He was capable of. This woman had been ill for twelve years. She was daily hemorrhaging and her reputation and finances were dwindling. This malady she suffered from was unknown to the doctors of her day. It also deemed her unclean in the eyes of her friends and family – not to mention the elders of the church. Her self image was taking a hit and she’d almost lost hope of ever overcoming her sickness.
Many suffer similar long term conditions today and suffer through financial difficulties because of them. When we’re sick, we want answers – we want to know what’s in store for us – we grow impatient – we give up. This woman hung onto hope.
She’d witnessed for herself, the great miracles of Jesus. She knew He was like no other human being. There was something amazing about Him. As he paraded through the streets, he was surrounded by crowds of people longing to be healed by Him. She could barely move, much less come to a standing position. She was at her wit’s end and yet she knew if she could just get a glimpse of Him, or simply walk in His footsteps, there was a glimmer of optimism.The crowds began to overcome, but the woman persisted. She crawled on her hands and knees below the mob of people and nudged her way to His sandaled feet. For one brief moment she touched the hem of His robe and immediately her bleeding stopped.
Jesus knew who touched Hi, but still He asked who it was. How frightened she must’ve been. She’d snatched a miracle simply through the hem of His clothing. Still there was something comforting in His voice and she came forward to confess that she was the one.
This woman was bold in her faith. She knew that Jesus could heal her not only from her illness, but from the shame she suffered because of it. She believed that He was her Savior.
Jesus said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
My friend confided that his choice would be the thief on the cross next to Jesus, who received the promise of salvation just by believing in His Savior. I had to admit that the woman who touched Jesus’ clothing was my choice. We are all like her in that even though our sins have been forgiven, we need Jesus in our lives every day, minute, second. It is His touch what saves us and that is the miracle of eternal life. The sting of death will no longer bring fear to our hearts. We can be confident that we will live forever, because of what He has already done. He touches each of us. Are we willing to grab His inviting hand?