Mark 5: 22 –34; Luke 4: 1 - 48
It Matters That We Care
We should remind ourselves that this woman should never have been at the centre of this event; well, that was according to the law. Her disability meant she was a socially unclean outcast - unable to go to church or have fellowship with friends and family. To touch an unclean person rendered you also unclean and restricted for a time, in what you could do.
She was no doubt feeling guilty for being there - embarrassed and afraid that others would find out what was wrong with her - but she was desperate. No doctor had been able to help her and now she was extremely poor - financially, physically and emotionally drained.
The news of the healing touch of Jesus was spreading, so the woman decided to try Him perhaps as a last desperate measure. Maybe things did not quite work out as she had hoped. There were crowds of people and in her physically compromised state she could not get close to Him; but she was not deterred. She only wanted to touch His clothing; she did not want any fuss and wanted to remain unnoticed. She pressed through and was amazed that the minute she touched His robes He stopped and turned towards her. She was also aware that her twelve-year-old debilitating illness had completely left her.
She may have been frightened of the reaction of both Jesus and the crowd as they came to realise the unacceptable, unclean company they had been keeping. But when she testified before Him and the crowd, He gently turned to her and addressed her as ‘Daughter’ - the closest of relationships she could have with Him. He assured her that her healing was the result of her faith and dismissed her with His peace - what a gift - the sense of peace that passes human understanding: that sense of belonging and being of worth and value.
Her life was changed! There had been twelve years of abject loneliness, isolation, depression and fear, which had left her unable to enjoy fellowship, share with others or go just wherever she pleased whenever she liked. Even visiting the doctor had been risky: another person knew her condition. Then she made a life-changing move - she reached out in faith to Jesus and found that in Him there was an answer.
Jesus was busy, but not too busy to acknowledge her. Jesus had time to listen - He affirmed her. Jesus valued her so much He did not just want her to be healed, He wanted to speak with her. What a huge impact that must have had on her - someone who felt so unclean and such a worthless outcast - in dialogue with the Messiah!
God may well test our faith; He may ask us to give our testimony. But we can be assured He has our best interests at heart, and that means not only dealing with physical symptoms, but with the emotional and spiritual ones too. This is not just for us, but for those to whom we minister in His name - can those of us involved in healthcare of any sort learn from Jesus here? He cares. Whatever the circumstances, whatever the situation, He took the time to care and He wants us to do the same in His name.
Caring matters. It matters for the one for whom we care. It matters to us. Above all it matters to our Saviour - the Lord Jesus Christ.