a desperate reach
Jesus loves you. You’ve probably sang a song with those words, seen a bumper sticker, or had some very upbeat, positive person tell you this when things weren’t going well. In a story of a desperate woman, I recently noticed something new about Jesus that better defined how much He loves each one of us.In Luke 8, we find Jesus on His way from healing a demon-possessed man, heading to heal a dying daughter of a synagogue ruler. Crowds are all around Him, wanting to see if what they’ve heard about Jesus is true. As He walks through the crowd, a woman reaches out, and touches the fringe of His robe. Immediately, Jesus turns to see who touched Him. His disciples, baffled He would think they could determine who in this crowd touched Him, offer no assistance. Still, He knows someone has trusted in His ability to heal, and He presses His question.
How incredible for us, this little story, told between two remarkable healings. One man healed from being possessed with a legion of demons and the little girl brought back from death. Surely that’s enough to fill any chapter, even in one of the Gospel accounts. Yet, here’s this story of a woman who had struggled for 12 years and not been healed. Her bleeding surely ostracized her in her culture. She had become the definition of insignificant. A woman in that culture, bleeding, made her unclean, so for someone to touch her would make them unclean and unable to go into the Temple. She must have been well known as outcast.
Have you felt truly insignificant? Having asked GOD for something, thinking He surely has better things to do than listen to me, answer me or care about my petty issues? Consider the message this story offers us; Jesus, busy and with a crowd pressing Him, on His way to help one of the religious leaders, slows because He knows this woman’s needs and speaks to her. He calls her daughter. Will Jesus do this for us? In the midst of being at His Father’s right hand, being praised by hosts of angels? Can He see us here and will He respond?
Oh, yes, this is who He is and what He does! Jesus may be on His way to many we would think more important than ourselves, but He will not miss the slightest touch of a desperate hand.
“…for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” – Romans 8:34
Why this woman? A crowd is pressing all around Him. Surely everyone in the crowd has issues He could change. He knows each one, their desires and cares. So, why her? Well, believing He will heal her if only she could touch Him, she got down on the ground, and reached out for Him. She was desperate enough to step past just standing around Jesus, watching Him and she reached out to Him. In her desperation, she reached beyond all to touch her Savior…and He saved her!
His greatness is all the more beautiful because it never fails to notice our smallest reach for Him. Jesus can be trusted with our most desperate desires. When all others have given up hope, we can reach out to Him. No matter how many press in on Him, He will not fail to recognize the lightest touch on the fringe of His robe.
“Not one loving expression from thy heart to His is lost on Him!” – F. B. Meyer, Great Verses Through the Bible, on Luke 9:31