Just One Touch

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” (Luke 8:42–48)

Crowds follow healers. Need has been rampant since Eve took her first bite of the forbidden fruit. The thing is, our Healer has a 100 percent success rate. You can only imagine the throngs crushing in on Him. Jesus was on His way to yet another healing when this sweet infirmed woman comes up behind Him just to touch the edge of His cloak. No one had had the ability or power to heal her. For twelve long years she had been subject to an issue of blood, making her ceremonially unclean and anything she touched ceremonially unclean (Leviticus 15:25–30). Think about that for a minute. For twelve years no one had desired to touch her. No hugs, no pats on the hands, no kisses on the forehead, no normal human interaction. Weary from battle, she pushes forward to grab the edge of Jesus’ cloak thinking, If I can just touch Him.

This is what the LORD says, he who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it–the LORD is his name: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
–Jeremiah 33:2–3

Immediately (don’t you love that word–it is so Jesus), the bleeding stops. Many Scriptures are flooding my mind right now on how quickly Jesus comes to our aid. While physical healing is not always what we need from Him, His presence, comfort, grace, and peace are always provided as we walk through our valleys. In the book of Psalms, we read:

The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. (Psalm 145:17–20)

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. –James 1:2–4

Jesus is in the business of making us whole. His longing is for us to reach His intended purposes and goals for our lives so that we may be complete, perfect, proficient, full-grown, and mature–not lacking anything. He desires for us to bring glory to God through our lives by equipping us with the power of the Holy Spirit. He may accomplish this through physical healing, or through death, through changing our circumstances, or through giving us the grace to persevere in them.

One purpose of our valleys is to grow us up in Him. Remember that it is Jesus who is the perfecter of our faith. He does not want us to grow weary and lose heart. In Jim Cymbala’s book, Break Through Prayer, he tells the story of a near death heroin addict and Jesus’ subsequent rescue. This is a modern day story of a rescue by our Lord:

“Then, in the midst of all my pain, something or someone whispered words I had heard before: The day you call on the Lord, He will set you free. All the other voices tried to drown it out, but they couldn’t! I don’t know if it was an angel or the Holy Spirit, but the words came through clearly: ‘The day you call on the Lord, He will set you free.’ In absolute desperation I screamed from my bed, ‘Jesus, help me! O God, help me with everything! You’re my only hope, so please help, Jesus!’ I didn’t understand anything about prayer, so I even used ‘personal references’ as I cried out: ‘Jesus, Wanda said that when I called on your name, you would deliver me. So help me now, O God.’”

As the Scripture says, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile–the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him” … for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” –Romans 10:11–13

“At that moment Almighty God swept over me and around me. I knew He was real because all the voices in my head suddenly stopped their hellish screaming and the ball of fear that had been weighing on me lifted. I knew everything had changed even though nothing outwardly had–I was still lying in my vomit in a hospital bed in the Bronx. But I was a million miles from where I had been before I said that prayer. The day I called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, He did set me free!”

Take It to Heart

Take a few moments to praise Jesus for His healing touch. Thank God for people who are faithful to witness for our Lord to those who are hurting.