Making Contact

Mark 5:21-34

“And Jesus perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “who touched my garments?” v. 30

So, Jesus is pushing his way through the narrow street filled with gawkers, squawkers and mockers, pressing up against him like a can of middle eastern sardines. If you’ve ever been in a crowded airport, trying to meander furiously through the masses on your way to the next flight, you can imagine what this may have been like. To make things worse, Jesus had just received a 911 from Jairus, the synagogue ruler. His daughter was dying and he needed Jesus to come right away. Jesus was in a traffic jam to beat all traffic jams, with a desperate father likely dragging him by the hand, through a sea of perspiration, dust and crowd noise. What a day.  As is often the case, when you’re trying to get somewhere, not only was traffic slow, but right in the middle of this chaotic journey, someone came along with another emergency. A woman, who had been suffering some type of internal bleeding problem for the past twelve years, came up behind Jesus and did the unthinkable. She touched his robe. Problem solved. Bleeding stopped immediately. Then Jesus says the most curious thing: “Who touched my garment?”  “Okay, Jesus maybe you need to get out of the sun”, they must have thought.  Jesus is in a crowd of people, pressing up against him like a crowd leaving a concert, and he wants to know who touched him. Better than that, he said, “Who touched my garments?” meaning the woman didn’t even press against him like everyone else, she just touched the fringe of his robe, and Jesus felt it! What’s up with that? Verse 30 gives us a clue. It says he perceived power going out from him. Why? What was the difference between her touching his robe and a zillion people, including Jairus, pressing up against him? Simple. She touched him by faith. The people pressing against Jesus must have had some serious needs of their own, but he only felt power when she made contact. Her faith released his power. That’s how it works. How often we crowd into church on Sunday, pressing into the presence of God, hoping for a sign that he’s real, but never really touching him. We act like squawkers, gawkers, and mockers, talking about our religious opinions, but never really touching him. We’re pressing up against him, without experiencing a release of his power. You cannot experience Jesus by analyzing him. You have to trust him. And as the woman shows us, even the slightest touch of faith can change your life. There’s more power in a finger tip full of faith than in a whole body of speculation. This means you can spend your whole life analyzing and waiting for sings from God and in the end accomplish nothing. On the other hand one moment of genuine faith can change your life forever.


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