This is not a favorite verse; it's a favorite story. But, as I read it today, I felt convicted!
She said to herself, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed." Jesus turned and saw her. "Take heart, daughter," he said, "your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:21-22
I love this story. The woman had been bleeding for several years and the doctors couldn’t heal her. Her faith in Jesus was so strong that she pushed her way through the crowd to touch Him. Jesus immediately turned to her, spoke to her tenderly, and healed her.
There are many reasons to love this wonderful story but, as I read these familiar words, I see myself mirrored in the life of this woman. Jesus loves me so much that He died for me. He embraced me, a filthy sinner, and healed me. Even more, He was willing to take the risk of being identified with me, His enemy.
What risks did Jesus take as He ministered to this woman?
- A Jewish man would NEVER speak to a woman in public. To do so would bring him ridicule. But Jesus didn’t seem to care about that did He?
- To be touched by a woman who was bleeding, even without his knowledge, would render him unclean for seven days. Unclean! The Son of God unclean? Jesus didn’t seen to care about that either.
What does this have to do with poor Ruby? As I looked at her sad face, peering out of the cone, I was convicted about the cone I wear every day.
Who did Jesus relate to day by day?
- Common people.
- Poor people.
- Sinners and taxpayers.
- Women caught in adultery.
- Young men possessed by demons.
What about today’s Christians? Who do we relate to on a daily basis?
Our activities center around the church. Our friends are all Christians. We live within the safety of people just like us.
When was the last time I deliberately reached out to someone I view as “lower” as I am? Someone I judge as being a bigger sinner than I am?
- A homeless person.
- A prostitute.
- A person with AIDS.
- A homosexual.
- A person in prison.
We have tunnel vision, peering out of our cones. We only associate with people who pass our “standards.”
Jesus’ love for His people far superseded desire to cling to social moirés.
I have to ask myself: What about me?