Bible Reading: Mark 5:21,25-34
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who touched my clothes?" "You see the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet you can ask, 'Who touched me?'" But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."
Anyone who has had Covid in the last eighteen months will know what it is like to isolate oneself, even if it is only for a couple of weeks. The woman in today’s reading had been ill with a haemorrhage and isolating herself for twelve years. She would have been classed as unclean, unable to form normal family or social relationships.
Now, after twelve years of spending all her money looking for a cure and failing to find one, of suffering at the hands of many doctors and only to getting worse, she comes to Jesus. Flouting all the regulations that govern her isolation, this woman presses through the crowd, reaches out and touches the hem of his cloak. And miraculously she is healed.
I wonder how often we turn to God with our needs and concerns as a last resort. Maybe we think we don’t want to bother him, or we think he wouldn’t be interested in us, or that it isn’t as serious as other people’s problems, or that we can sort it out ourselves, or that we can just soldier on.
This woman couldn’t have come to Jesus any earlier; he wasn’t there, but we can! We don’t need to come to God with our needs and concerns as a last resort. God loves us and we can come to him at the outset. As we reach out to him, like the woman in the story, he will meet our needs, whatever they are.
In almost all of the accounts of Jesus healing people in the gospels, there is an expression of faith somewhere. Here that faith is expressed by the woman as she reaches out to touch the hem of Jesus’ cloak, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed."
Is there a situation that has been troubling you for many years? It needn’t be for healing; it could be for anything. Nothing is too big or too small for him to be concerned about, and his resources are unlimited. Why not put your faith in Jesus and reach out to him today; trust him to meet your need or concern in whatever way seems best for him.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you died to make me whole, in body, mind and spirit.
Remind me to reach out to you with the things that concern me,
And not to come to you as a last resort.
Reach out and touch the Lord as he goes by