The lady was old and bent, but she walked with purpose through the city and with one thing on her mind…She must see this man called Jesus that she had heard so much about. Oh the stories she had heard about his abilities to heal. Truly this man had been sent straight from God…and he was perhaps her last resort. For twelve years she had suffered from an illness for which the doctors could find no cure… and her money was gone.
She stopped only for a second when she saw the crowd of people beginning to gather. She had expected a crowd, but this was amazing. People were gathering from all directions and soon she was swept up into the midst of them. I’ll never get to speak to him, she thought, pushing her way through as best she could, but if I can only manage to get close enough to touch his…At last she found herself right behind him… and she reached out.
Due to the pressing of the crowd, she managed only to touch the hem of his garment, but the instant she did so, she felt the healing take place inside her body. The issue of blood she had dealt with every day for twelve long years had stopped…and then the man stopped too…and turned to view the crowd. “Who touched me?” he demanded to know.
The people shook their heads and looked at him incredulously. “Master,” one of his followers said to him, “The people are pressing from every side and you ask, who touched me?”
“Somebody has touched me,” he said…”for I perceive that virtue has gone out of me.”
The crowd had pulled back slightly in denial and suddenly the woman realized she had been exposed. She stood there trembling, face to face with Jesus Christ! She stumbled forward and fell to her knees before him explaining to him and to the crowd of strangers for what reason she had come to see him. “I felt in my heart,” she said, “if I could but touch the hem of your garment, that I would be cured…and I was…immediately.”
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; thy faith has made you whole; go in peace.”
The world today is in need of healing, but too few are looking to Jesus for the solution. Are we, God’s people, not spreading the news that Jesus heals…Jesus saves?? The lady in this story from the book of Luke, had heard the good news and reached out to him; knowing that if she could just touch his clothes, she would be cured. Where is the faith needed to bring relief to so many suffering from sin and disease today?
There are many stories in the Bible of Jesus healing people, causing the blind to see and the lame to walk … in many cases for the very first time. In fact, so many were coming to Jesus for his healing power that He couldn’t handle them all by Himself, so He passed His power to heal on to His disciples. In one situation though, a young man suffered from fits that caused him to throw himself down and thrash about with no control. His father was afraid one day the boy might cast himself into a fire, so he brought his son to the disciples to be healed…but they had no success.
In desperation, the father brought his son to Jesus. “If you but believe, it will be done,” Jesus told the man.
“Lord, help my unbelief,” the man replied. Then Jesus cast out the demon and the boy was cured.
Seeing this, the disciples asked Jesus why they had not been able to heal the boy themselves. “Because of your unbelief.” Jesus told them.
Perhaps today our unbelief is what keeps so many from responding to the news that Jesus heals. Not so much the unbelief of those hearing the good news, but of us who are telling it. Are we telling it like we believe it ourselves, or do we do it in a condescending way making others feel that we believe ourselves to be better than them in some way? Maybe we have touched the hem of Jesus garments and felt His healing power but, like the woman in the story, we need to be exposed…we need to come face to face with Jesus and ask Him to help our unbelief!
We mutter prayers and sit in pews, ask forgiveness and sit in judgement. It’s time to stop just preaching and start loving. People are dying and going to hell because somebody didn’t tell them the truth about Jesus and his power to save. Let’s ask God to help our unbelief and to release the power we keep bottled up by silencing His Holy Spirit that came into our hearts the minute we first believed. He doesn’t want us just touching His clothes and living on the edge of Christianity. He wants to know us personally. We won’t see change until we change ourselves… by making our needs known and coming face to face with Jesus Christ!