“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
There is a story in the Gospels about a sick woman who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. TWELVE years! Can you imagine? The book of Mark tells us that she suffered a lot under the care of doctors. She spent all she had and still there was no healing. Because of her condition, she was ceremoniously unclean. This meant that anyone who came in contact with her was unclean. Leviticus 15:19-30 tells us that anyone who sat where she had sat, or even touched where she had sat, had to bathe ceremoniously and would be considered unclean until sundown. We can be sure that even in her own home, she led a pretty isolated life. The implications of her illness didn’t stop there. Because she was unclean, she was not allowed into the temple, which means that she couldn’t offer sacrifices for her sins.
For 12 years!
Not only was she living with what had to be a painful illness, she was most likely shunned by people and not allowed to even enter the place of worship. A pretty lonely and horrible existence...until Jesus came along. She had heard of Jesus and how he loved the outcasts of society...and found hope. She had heard of his healing powers...and found hope. Maybe she had watched him from afar and saw how gently and compassionately he dealt with those who were hurting...and found hope.
So, she summoned all her courage, risked being further ostracized, and pushed through the crowd around Jesus, just trying to get close enough to touch his robe. Surely she was thinking, “I won’t even bother him. I’ll just touch his robe, and I will be healed.” Indeed, that is what happened; but Jesus wouldn’t let her stay anonymous. Why? Even in the midst of a crazy crowd, when he was being bumped into and touched by dozens of people, he felt the timid touch of HER hand. He cared about the one who everyone else shunned. He asked who had touched him and timidly she came forward. He commended her faith and confirmed both her physical and spiritual healing in front of the very people who had turned away from her time and time again.
I love this story because it is the ultimate example of our accessible Savior. When the sick woman was shunned by society, she was welcomed by Jesus. When she couldn’t be healed by doctors, she was healed both physically and spiritually by Jesus. When she wasn’t allowed to enter into the Temple doors, having been turned away by the religious, she was invited to enter into a relationship with Jesus. When she couldn’t even touch her family, she could touch Jesus. He is always accessible to everyone.
Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help us to remember that you love us regardless of our circumstances, and to remember that you are always accessible.
Suggested Reading: Mark 5:24-34