45 And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side! Ė Luke 8:45 AMP
In our world today people of importance have a security force that follows them everywhere. I remember as a college student President George Bush (the dad, not the son) visited our campus and actually was in a building the same time I had a class in it. We were told by the Secret Service to stay in our classroom with the door closed, and bathroom breaks were forbidden until the President had left the building. It was very intimidating for me as a young college student. Even though I never actually saw the President that day, itís still the closest Iíve ever been personally to the leader of our country.
Jesus, on the other hand, didnít have the Secret Service to escort Him around. He did have twelve disciples, but they were more students than security. And yes, some of them, like Peter, probably could have held their own in a physical altercation, but they were hardly the best security available. In fact, as todayís verse says, someone actually touched Jesus without the disciplesí knowledge.
Now for starters, letís put this whole touch in a modern day perspective. Would the Secret Service allow someone to even get close to the President without their knowledge? No way. If they did, agents would be fired, and their superiors would have to give account as to why there was such a blatant breach of security. And the moment someone touched the President in a wrong way, the President would be whisked away immediately to a safe location and the person who touched him would be placed in protective custody for an undetermined amount of time at an undisclosed location and face possible imprisonment.
Once again, in Jesusí day, that didnít happen. Jesus looked for the person who touched Him. With the crowds pressing around Him, he sought out the person who merely touched the fringe of His garment. When He found her, it was not to reprimand or to question her. It was to tell her that her faith made her well. Maybe Jesus wanted to make sure that she knew that His clothes didnít possess magical powers. He did want her to know that it was simply her faith in Him to heal her that did it. Then, unlike the Secret Service, He sent her away in peace.
This passage, along with being a demonstration of great faith on the part of the woman, should speak volumes to Christians today. The problem is that they merely see it as a story of a woman being healed. But letís look a bit closer.
The multitudes following Jesus included disciples, close followers, and those curious to see what He would do next. It is very likely that there was more bumping and jostling in the midst of this crowd than inside the subways of New York during the morning rush hour. Today many Christians are the multitudes surrounding Jesus.
Christianity today has become a very fickle religion to some. Often believers still want things their way instead of Godís way.
Christians justify keeping sins in their life by finding supposed loopholes in the Word. Denominations and even cults have been formed because their leaders twist Scriptures to meet their own ends. Jesus is literally surrounded on every side, but everyone is talking about Him rather than talking to Him.
But then letís look at the healed woman. She pressed through the crowd. She was willing to breach security. She even did the unthinkable and reached out and actually touched Jesusí garment. Out of the whole crowd, she was the only one willing to risk everything and not care about the consequences.
Was it her ailment that put her in this desperate situation? Absolutely. But how many of you sang the worship song Breathe at church Sunday? The chorus for that song contains the phrase Iím desperate for you. If you sang it, did you mean it? Are you desperate to touch Jesus, or are you still in the crowd, pressing Jesus at every side?
We all need to get to that point in our life where weíre willing to reach out and touch Jesus. No, we may not have the physical ailments of the woman in Luke Chapter Eight, but we all need some kind of help in our lives that only a relationship with Jesus can provide. We may need to be a better husband or wife. We may need to be a better parent. We may need to be a better listener. And we may simply need a closer relationship with Him.
Whatever the case, itís time for all Christians to stop pressing with the crowd. Get past all of the pushing and shoving about Jesus thatís supposedly there to draw you closer to Him.
Reach out for the One who can touch your life in a way it never has been. Society and even the church will tell you thatís itís a breach of security, but rest assured that reaching out and touching Jesus will never land you in prison. Like the woman Jesus healed, youíll be able to go away in peace.
Read more articles by David Wells or search for articles on the same topic or others.