HER RISK PAID OFF
"At that very moment the haemorrhaging stopped. Jesus said, 'Who touched me?' When no one stepped forward, Peter said, 'But Master, we've got crowds of people on our hands. Dozens have touched you.' Jesus insisted, 'Someone touched me. I felt power discharging from me.'
"When the woman realised that she couldn't remain hidden, she knelt trembling before Him. In front of all the people, she blurted out her story -- why she touched Him and how at that same moment she was healed.
"Jesus said, 'Daughter, you took a risk trusting me and now you're healed and whole. Live well, live blessed.'" Luke 8: 45-48 (The Message).
This was unusual behaviour for Jesus! Why did He insist on putting this poor woman on public display? Apart from the demoniac He had set free across the lake, He normally told people to keep what He had done for them under wraps.
But here He was broadcasting to the entire crowd that someone had touched Him. Could He possibly have had another reason than simply letting everyone know that yet another person had been healed? Did He want to disgrace her for contaminating the entire crowd by infecting them, and Him, with her uncleanness?
But it was never in Jesus' nature to do that. Besides, people were immediately cleansed when they came into contact with Him. He must have had a more significant reason than showing off His power.
Jesus was on His way to the home of a man whose child lay dying and was possibly already dead. It was not permissible for a rabbi to come into contact with a dead body except if he, too, were unclean. The only way to gain access to the child was to give the people the impression that the woman had made Him unclean by her touch! Brilliant!
Jesus also had another motive for insisting that the woman own up. He wanted to complete her healing, not just of her physical ailment but also of her heart. Thinking she was in trouble, she came forward to acknowledge what she had done in fear and trembling. She did not know what to expect from this rabbi.
The words He spoke were the words of life to her. His first word was the reassurance that she was somebody; not a nameless, despised, unclean outcast but 'Daughter!' Imagine how she felt to be called a daughter in Israel, regardless what anyone else might think or say. She was not only healed but also whole. She understood that.
To be whole -- "shalom" -- was to be restored to God's original intention for her. She could put her twelve years of suffering behind her, knowing that she had been fully accepted as a member of God's people.
Her very demeanour reveals what she thought of herself before she came face to face with Jesus. She had hoped to remain anonymous, creeping up behind Him, being healed and creeping away again to enjoy what she knew He could do for her. But once again Jesus made a public display of a woman whom the people had cast aside as just a filthy bit of trash but whom He treated with compassion and restored to her rightful place in society and in God's eyes.
Imagine her joy as she made her way home to pick up the pieces of her life...
In the meantime, Jairus was waiting, anxious and impatient. How did he feel about the interlude that interrupted his mission? The minutes were ticking by and his daughter was dying. Would this delay mean the difference between life and death for her?
How often we feel like that too! Time will make the difference between hope and despair, so we think. But time is not the issue with Jesus. It's not about time; it's about trust. Anxiety, fear, impatience, cancels trust. Jesus is never too late!
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