A Devotional

Jesus, One on One

 The Sick Woman

 by Kathryn Spurgeon

She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak,  I will be healed.”  Matthew 9:20 NIV 

The weak, frail woman stumbled behind the crowd. Pushed aside and shoved by the masses, she persisted. By law and ritual, an outcast should not be this close to people, but she could not help it.

The woman with the issue of blood, that was her. Menstruation, not just monthly, but a continuous flow without stopping—for months, and years. Twelve whole years! Friend, can you imagine that? How tired she must have been! The poor woman discussed it with girlfriends and female relatives, anyone who would listen. She visited every doctor, medicine man and specialist in town. Spent all her money, every last penny. Nothing could be done. No one knew how to help her and she only got worse.

Discouraged, worried, and afraid of death, this lady knew misery and helplessness. Sickness consumed her whole life. Everyone told her to quit trying and learn to live with a chronic illness. Not one soul remained to encourage her. And then, of all things, when it was known that she was a perpetually impure woman, no one could touch her without also being considered unclean. Not so much as lift a finger to wash her dirty face. Emotionally, she was drained as dry as stale bread.

There. Closer. She could see Jesus. His hair. The back of his head.  “If I can just touch his clothes, I’ll be whole,” she told herself. His garment. Nearer. One more step. Yes. This was him, the Jesus she had heard about. The healer, her last hope. She knelt on the ground behind him. She did not ask for much. Ah. . . His sandals. She reached her hand toward one of the four tassels of his cloak, the blue and white cords woven together. In a scandalous action, an unclean woman touching a man, her fingers brushed the edge of his cloak. She knew instantly. She felt the bleeding stop. Strength raced through her body and she backed away dazed, wanting to cry for joy. She tried to slide away, not wanting to be conspicuous.

A commanding voice boomed. His voice. “Who touched me?”  Everyone got quiet.

Oh, no, she thought. He knows. What will Jesus say?  Will he be angry?

No one answered Jesus. Then everyone answered Jesus. Not me. Not me. What do you mean, Jesus?  Dozens of people are crowding against you. Everyone is touching you. A little sarcasm here.

Jesus spoke again. “Someone touched me.  I know because power went from me.”

The woman cringed. She had done wrong. Trembling and weeping, she fell at Jesus’ feet and looked up at his face. Words flowed out of her. Words she could not stop. Right there in front of gobs of people, she told Jesus everything. All about her sickness, her despair and her last hope. How she had touched the hem of his garment and been healed. In a gush of words, she opened up her heart.

Jesus did not interrupt through the lengthy explanation. He watched her, listened and then said tenderly, “Daughter, daughter. My child. Yes. You are well because of your faith.” Cheer up. Now don’t be afraid anymore. Do not cry. Go home in peace and get some rest.

He was not concerned at all that an unclean woman had just touched him. That she had dared to stretch out beyond the boundaries of her culture. He never condemned her.  Jesus did the opposite. He accepted her. So the woman was healed emotionally, too. Because Jesus cared.

Matthew 9:20-23, Mark 5:25-34, Luke 8:43-48

Pearls of Wisdom

From the Sick Woman

1. No matter how hopeless your circumstances, do not give up.  Whatever others might say, keep searching for Jesus.

2. Draw close to Jesus. Close enough to see His form, His presence, even the sandals on His feet. Never be afraid to tell Him everything.

3. It only takes a little faith, a little touch for Jesus to change your whole life.

4. Jesus can do what no one else can, not even a doctor, friend or family.

5. Like Jesus understood the woman’s years of despair, He understands your heart. He listens and is capable of bringing physical healing, but even more so, he offers spiritual and emotional healing.

Taken from the book, Jesus, One on One.

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