Faith Reaches Out
by Mark Kelly
Matthew 9:20-22 (TEV)
20 A woman who had suffered from severe bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his cloak. 21 She said to herself, «If only I touch his cloak, I will get well.» 22 Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, «Courage, my daughter! Your faith has made you well.» At that very moment the woman became well.
Everything about this situation was improper. This woman’s problem was more than physical. According to the Law, her illness made her unclean before God. Anyone she touched would be made unclean and have to endure the hassle of ritual purification. She had lived in isolation all these years, forbidden to touch or be touched. Her condition would have prevented marriage; if she had been married, her husband most likely had divorced her. She should not have been in a crowd where everyone was bumping into everyone else. If people hadn’t been so focused on Jesus, an angry mob would have chased her away.
This woman was desperate, utterly at the end of herself. She had no one to help, no hope for anything better in life … except this teacher who everyone said could work miracles. Reaching out to touch Jesus was scandalously inappropriate. But Jesus was far more concerned about people than about religious rules. Desperate souls need the healing touch of God’s love and forgiveness – even more when those souls are isolated and alone. When we realize our only hope is Jesus, faith is met with healing. When our faith reaches out, desperate souls find love and forgiveness.
PRAYER: Lord, I’ve never been able to fix what’s wrong with me and neither has anyone else. Only you have the power to heal body and soul. Thank you for the healing you bring into my life. Help me be sensitive to those in the crowd around me, the lonely, hurting souls desperate for healing. Give me the faith to reach out to them – without worrying what others will think – so you can pour your love and forgiveness into their lives through me.
POINT TO PONDER: Faith reaches out, without worrying what others will think.