"She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, for as she said, 'If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.'"
There is so much gold to mine in the story of the woman with the hemorrhage! But today, I went back to a book by Fr. Anthony Gittins, called "Encountering Jesus" and gleaned a wonderful nugget. The woman with the hemorrhage was a castoff of society due to her condition. She was physically unwell, but the fact that she had a hemorrhage would have made her ritually unclean as well. She could not pray with others or worship God in the temple. She had no husband so she was really a social outcast. She had spent all of her money too, on doctors, so she was also poor. She is desperate to find help and her only hope is Jesus, for she has heard about his healing ways. She feels that all she need do is touch his cloak and she will be healed. When she does this, she immediately feels healed and Jesus immediately feels power going from him. What we often don't think about is this woman touching him as also rendered Jesus unclean--now HE cannot go to the temple and worship either. That's why she is so afraid to come forth when he asks, "Who touched me?" (v. 31) Fr. Gittins: "Jesus would demonstrate that to be touched by a defiled person was NOT to transfer contamination." Instead, it was the healing power of God that was transferred to the woman and she was healed. How does this look in our own world today? People who need us--our compassion, comfort and healing love, will NOT contaminate us, Friends! Instead our God-given love will embrace them. We must never be afraid of those who need us...Let's remember that as we move through our deep winter Tuesday. Love, heidi