…[S]he came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. (Mark 5:27-29)
Mark 5:25-34 tells the familiar story of the woman who had a flow of blood for 12 years and was healed simply by touching Jesus’ garment. The striking feature of this story is the way in which her healing came about: it seemed to have surprised Jesus, drawing power from Him almost as if He was not the one giving it.
“And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched My clothes?’” (Mark 5:30)
Here is the only time that Jesus performed a miracle seemingly unintentionally. It is also the only time that He did not know whom the miracle was completed for. So how did the miracle come about at all? It was in her touch.
As Jesus walked by, there was a great crowd surrounding Him so much so that they pressed about Him and the disciples didn’t understand how He could ask “Who touched My clothes?” since many in that crowd probably touched Him. Many people were touching Jesus as He walked pass, and yet this woman’s touch was different. Her touch was able to draw power from Jesus. Why?
Luke 8:43 tells us that this woman had spent all of her money on physicians, but that it was all to no avail. She was at the end of her rope; her life was fading with every drop of blood issuing from her diseased body. But many others in that crowd probably also had their own particular needs. Indeed, at that very moment, Jesus was on His way to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead. How was this woman’s neediness able to touch Jesus?
This woman was different from the other needy ones because of her faith and determination. She recognized Jesus as the Savior who could completely heal her. And remarkably, after a life spent chasing treatments and being disappointed time and again, she did not come to Him with an attitude of “Well, I’ll just give this a try—it may or may not work.” Instead, she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” She did not even try to touch Him; she thought just touching the very border of His garment was enough to heal her. And it did, because she knew that Jesus was not just another treatment option. Jesus was the real deal, the Lord of Life who could make her whole. It was her immense faith and her determination, despite the large, hostile crowd, to touch Him, that drew out Jesus’ healing power.
Jesus is waiting for us to touch Him in the same way that this woman touched Him. Though it may seem as if Jesus did not intentionally heal her, His grace was actually always there, always responsive to those who are needy and faithful. He wants us to bring Him our needs, pin all of our hopes onto Him alone, believe that He can make us whole, and make the determination to touch even just the hem of His garment.
For many of us who are in the church already, this is something that takes extra effort. Because we, like the crowd surrounding Jesus, have become comfortable with just being around Him, brushing shoulders with Him every now and then, watching Him perform miracles and listening to Him speak. We have become content with our faiths and are no longer actively pursue spiritual healing. We may not even know that we are standing in need of His power in our lives. We may have even begun to rely on other things in our lives so that Jesus has become to us not the life-giving Lord that He was to this woman, but just a convenience and a routine.
So let us ask ourselves: Have we touched Jesus recently? Have our prayers been with faith such as this woman had, able to heal and draw power from God? Let us strive to change our worldly goals to spiritual ones so that we may rely on Him alone, so that we can be witnesses of His healing power. His tender heart is waiting for just that kind of touch from us.