Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When only Jesus will do

"And a woman who was under an issue of blood twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians; and had spent all that she had, and was nothing the better, but rather worse, when she had heard of Jesus, came in the crowd behind him, and touched his garment. For she said: If I shall touch but his garment, I shall be whole. And forthwith the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the evil.And immediately Jesus knowing in himself the virtue that had proceeded from him, turning to the multitude, said: Who has touched my garments?  And his disciples said to him: You see the multitude thronging you, and you asked who has touched me? And he looked about to see her who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all thetruthAnd he said to her: Daughter, your faith has made you whole: go in peace, and be whole of your disease."  Mark 25-34

This woman, like a lot of us, had spent a lot of years hurting.  She'd been everywhere, tried everything, to make the pain go away.  Nothing worked.  She'd spent all her money on the solutions that other people suggested and had only suffered more because of them. There was nothing left for her to do.

Then, she heard about Jesus.  She heard about a man who could cure the sick and restore sight to the blind, who could raise the dead to life, and she believed.  She believed so completely that she dared her very life going into that crowd, for a woman who was bleeding was considered unclean.  Anything or anyone she touched would be considered unclean, but she thought that if she could just touch the hem of Christ's garment it would be enough to heal her. 

She was right, of course.  Just touching the hem of his garment healed her hemorrhage, but Christ knew she needed more, so He called her out.  He asked her to show herself in front of everyone.  She was terrified.  She hadn't wanted the attention, had hoped to escape without anyone being the wiser.  She'd violated the laws of the time period and she had touched his garment.  What could he possibly want? Would he be angry? Would he condemn her? Would he take back the gift she'd taken from him?  She didn't know.

She gathered up every ounce of her courage and came and fell at his feet, confessing everything and then she waited.  Seconds must assuredly have ticked by so slowly as she waited for his verdict, waited for the rebuke she was sure was coming, waited for more scorn and more condemnation than she'd already endured for the last twelve years.  Instead, she couldn't believe the words she heard.  "Daughter, your faith has made you whole; go in peace and be whole of your disease". She was not being condemned - she was being praised! In front of everyone, the strength of her faith was being acknowledged and she was being blessed instead of cursed.  

When we've tried everything else before coming to Jesus, we end up like that woman - broken, bleeding, and with nothing to show for it except years of regret and even more pain than when we started.  Then we reach that point where we know we've tried it all, and our last and only hope is Jesus.  We come to Him, knowing that He can heal us and boldly reaching out for just the hope that we can touch the hem of his garment.  We don't dare to ask for much at this point in our relationship with Him.  We're all too aware of our unworthiness, all too aware of our need and our sinfulness and our disease.  But we're just too desperate to keep on going down the road we'd been on before.  We're sick and tired of being sick and tired, and something inside us is screaming that this is our only hope. That's the moment when only Jesus will do, and once you've had that moment, the world has lost you forever.  You'll always belong to Him because you know there's nothing else that will satisfy.

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