WHAT GOD CAN DO
Read: Mark 5:24-34
24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 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. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (NIV Mark 5:24-34)
Study: As Jesus moved through a large crowd to respond to one appeal for help (Mark 5:22-23), he sensed that another desperate person had touched him because of faith in his healing power. It was a woman whose problem would be serious today but was worse then. Jewish law (cf. Leviticus 15:25-27) saw her as permanently “unclean,” like a leper. The law said she couldn’t touch anyone; hence her hidden touch of Jesus’ garment. But “Jesus recognized that power had gone out from him,” and confirmed that her faith had made her whole. What a burden of shame this woman must have carried, along with her physical issues. Many people saw ailments like hers as judgments from God (see John 9:2) and treated her as an unclean outcast. Was Jesus being unkind when he made the healed woman’s touch public, or was he freeing her from shame as well as from her ailment? Are there things in your life, or the lives of people you care about, that cause needless shame?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, it was your mission to move the world back toward its intended wholeness. Show me how to join in that mission, to bless others in big or small ways. Amen.