I have been thinking a lot lately about the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. It keeps getting brought to my attention. I have been praying for wisdom about healing so I feel that the fact that I keep hearing about it or being reminded about it is very important. I like what Bill Johnson says about it in "Hosting the Presence", that basically she raised the healing bar. No one had been healed by touching fabric until that point; it had never been done before. She had so much faith in Jesus that I don't think it occured to her that it may not work. She was so focused on Jesus that she had no doubt.
This morning as I was meditating on this, I was picturing myself as this woman kneeling next to Jesus, trying to imagine what her thoughts would have been like, or what my thoughts would be if I were in her situation. She was an outcast because at that time Jews saw blood as "unclean." She must have felt unworthy to stand up and face Jesus because she knew she was unclean. She had been shunned by religious leaders in her local temple because they had to undergo cleansing rituals each time they touched anything deemed unclean. It was too much work.
Everyone in her community knew about her. They had no television, no Directv, cable, or internet. There was no American Idol or Facebook to keep them entertained. Everyone knew every detail about each other because that WAS their entertainment. They knew about her condition. They knew if they were caught associating with her they would have to go to the temple and go through all the cleansing rituals that were expected of them. It was inconvenient.
I know this is extremely silly, but it reminds me of the "cheese touch" from one of my kids favorite movies, Diary of a Wimpy Kid. In this movie, if one of the kids at Greg Heffley's school touched this piece of dried up moldy cheese that was left on the ground at recess the kids would yell, "He's got the cheese touch," and suddenly no one would go near this unfortunate kid. I know this is such a silly comparison, but its human nature isn't it? Have you ever had something happen to you that made you unpopular or stand out in a crowd? It hurts, doesn't it? And once a person is labeled with something by society, its hard to undo that. Its hard to change people's perception of a person once they have been deemed unworthy.
So this is the woman who touched Jesus: unclean and unpopular. She tried to do it secretly without anyone knowing. "If I can only touch the edge of his robe, i will be free," she may have been thinking. "No one will notice"
But Jesus noticed.
Praise God, Jesus noticed! He knew exactly who touched him, but He took the time to single her out. He didnt have to ask the crowd who it was any more than God had to ask where Adam was in the garden. He wanted to lift her up and recognize her in front of the crowd. He was so respected and revered by the masses, he knew that if he recognized her and lifted her up in front of her community, the people who had once shunned her would now accept her. The stigma that she once had of being unclean would be washed away.
Kinda like if the most popular kid in school would have befriended the "cheese touch" kid.
She humbly sought Jesus' healing and He not only healed the issue of blood, he healed her emotionally by reconciling her place in the community because he talked to her face to face, something I am sure none of the religious leaders would have done. He took an outcast and made her so very special. He made her His equal. THAT is why He came to this earth. We are joint heirs, God looks at us exactly the same way He looks at Jesus and he loves the dirty broken ones just as much as the shiny perfect ones (maybe a little bit more).
So I say to YOU, "GET READY!" Get ready to be lifted up when you humbly come before Him. Focus your eyes on Him so that you will have no doubt that you will be touched and changed. Get ready for Him to wash you clean and bring you to a position where you are his equal, a child of the Living God, joint heir with Christ.