Desperately Reaching For The Hem of His Garment

While some of us have experienced difficult and embarrassing personal issues in our lives, I doubt many of us can truly relate to the lady described in Mark 5:25-34.  This poor lady had suffered with chronic bleeding for twelve years. Without being too descriptive I ask you to imagine the sanitary challenges of dealing with that problem, day after day, after day.  Along with that came the health issues. She must have been frequently weak and anemic. In all likelihood, she had no family because she would have been considered unclean. Desperate for a cure, she had spent everything she had on doctors. Under their care her conditioned only worsened.

Sometimes we read Scripture in such a detached and superficial way that we fail to empathize with the suffering of a real person who really lived centuries ago. Are you willing to allow her suffering touch you?

This lady was in terrible misery and she was out of options. She had no hope. That is until she heard about a Jewish carpenter who was going around teaching, preaching and performing incredible miracles of healing. She had heard so many stories that she came to believe that if she could somehow get to Jesus, and just touch Him, she would be healed.

This frail sickly woman heard that Jesus was coming to her village. Somehow, in spite of her condition, she was able to fight through the crowd surrounding Him, come up behind Jesus and touch the hem of His garment. She did not speak to Jesus because she was embarrassed and ashamed of her illness. She tried to avoid exposure and humiliating treatment from of the crowd. She only wanted to touch him, to receive healing, and then slip away into the crowd.

She reached out and touched Jesus. Some translations say that she touched the hem of his garment. Immediately she was healed and in that instant Jesus knew what had happened. Jesus was going to make sure she acknowledged to everyone what had occurred. Not to embarrass her, but as a witness to others. Particularly for Jairus whose miracle was interrupted.

Jesus looked at the woman and said, “Daughter, your faith has healed you” (v. 48). The word for daughter is a term of affectionate endearment.  Then he said, “Go in peace,” or literally, “Go into peace,” meaning “Go from this place and walk in good health. You are healed physically and spiritually.

Jesus is the most caring man in all history. No one ever cared and gave of Himself like Jesus. In the middle of a crowd pressing in on all sides, He felt the weak and desperate hand of faith and He stopped. He was not angry or too busy to bother with her. He spoke to her as if she were the only person in the crowd. All the while He was in complete control. Everything in the universe was still being sustained by Him in that very moment.  Jairus’ daughter had not been forgotten.

He loves you as if there were only one person in the universe.  He knows when you reach out to him in desperation. He steps into your pain and suffering. Whatever it is that hurts you, He feels it. That’s what the writer to the Hebrews meant when he said, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses” (Hebrews 4:15). If it hurts us, it hurts him.

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