“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 5:34 NIV)

She had heard of this teacher who spoke with authority and healed with a touch. God knows she needed a healing touch. But would he touch her? Doubtful. She was unclean.

Unclean. Such a demeaning description. But, such was her lot in life. Well, it had been her lot for the better part of the past twelve years. She had tried every doctor she could find. She had spent all the money she had. Nothing helped. The bleeding had only gotten worse.

That cursed bleeding. It made her a curse among her people. She knew the law. Anyone with an issue of blood was unclean and had to avoid crowds lest they make whomever they touched or whoever touched them unclean as well (Lev. 15:19, 25).

Most assuredly, there would be a crowd surrounding the teacher. He never went anywhere that a crowd didn’t follow. Even if she did somehow managed to work her way undetected through the throng, she would be found out as soon as she asked the teacher to heal her. If he refused to touch her, then she’d suffer disgrace upon disgrace. She’d still carry the disgrace of her condition plus the disgrace of making an entire crowd of seekers as unclean as she. It was just too risky.

“He may not touch me,” she thought to herself, “But I can touch him. No, I will not defile him. I need only touch a part of his clothes and I will surely be healed. No one will ever have to know.”

“Who touched Me?” the Teacher’s voice struck terror in her heart. It had taken her nearly an hour to fight through the crowd to get near the street where he was walking. He never broke stride as he approached the spot where she was kneeling. She had simply slipped her hand between two onlookers and touched the bottom of his cloak. Instantly, her bleeding stopped. Instantly, he stopped.

“Who touched Me?” the Teacher asked again. “I know power went forth from Me.”

Busted. He wasn’t just a teacher. He must also be a prophet. She knew she wouldn’t escape undetected now. Might as well stand up and face the music.

Trembling uncontrollably in fear she made her way to the Master. She knelt before him hoping for mercy but expecting none. She couldn’t help but hear the incredulous gasps from the crowd as she confessed the whole incident to him.

She also couldn’t help but hear the gentleness in the Teacher’s voice, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” She couldn’t help but hear the astonished gasps from the crowd as she rose from her knees, finally clean, finally free.

Faith is the hand that touches Jesus. It need not be a strong hand. It need not be a brave or bold hand. It simply needs to reach out and touch Him. He will not become unclean by our touch. We will become clean by His power. He will not scold our lack of faith. Even our small faith, a trembling hand reaching out to touch Him, will heal us. For when we touch Him, His power touches us. And, by His power we will rise. Finally clean. Finally free.

© Paul R Downing

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