Stealing a Healing Mark 5:25-34
Now there was a woman who had been suffering
from chronic bleeding for twelve years. Although she had endured a great deal
under the care of many doctors and had spent all of her money, she had not been
helped at all but rather grew worse. Since she had heard about Jesus, she came
up behind him in the crowd and touched his robe. For she had been saying, "If I
can just touch his robe, I will get well." Her bleeding stopped at once, and she
felt in her body that she was healed from her illness. Immediately Jesus became
aware that power had gone out of him. So he turned around in the crowd and
asked, "Who touched my clothes?" His disciples said to him, "You see the crowd
jostling you, and yet you ask, 'Who touched me?'" But he kept looking around to
see the woman who had done this. So the woman, knowing what had happened to her,
came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth.
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be
healed from your illness." (Mar 5:25-34)
This scene is remarkable! "Just one touch. That's all it takes is just one touch!" The woman, in faith, took healing from Jesus. She ripped healing power from Jesus' body. Jesus didn't know that this would happen. He didn't know who did it, once it had occurred. He didn't authorize this healing. He didn't "will" anything to happen. The woman did. When I think of "just one touch", I think of the touch of Jesus. If Jesus just touches me, I will be healed, but here - it is the woman who touches Jesus. Jesus was, of course, willing to give healing, but the woman didn't ask. She took healing from Jesus. Such audacity! Such faith! I am amazed.
There is a presumption here: "he would be willing, won't mind". The other day, I borrowed a table cloth off of a table set up for a reception. The reception was in the afternoon and we had communion in the morning and could not find our table cloth. There was noone we could ask, so I borrowed. I should have left a note. One of the organizers came in early to check on things and found her tablecloth missing. I confessed to the crime, and she was delighted to "lend" it to us, and delighted to have it back. No problem. I presumed on her good will and I was proved right. Had I been wrong I would have had to apologize and appropriately grovelled. I am not sure that this woman presumed that Jesus would be okay with her "taking healing", she did however presume that a touch would heal, and she hoped he'd be okay with it. I think Jesus insisted on finding her so that she would know for sure that he was also "okay with taking healing". He commended her faith and reassurred her of his good will. She came and knelt before him, shaking and trembling. I am sure that Jesus took her by the hand, helped her up, smiled reassuringly and sent her away in peace. The tenderness and attention of Jesus to this woman is even more touching, when you remember that he was on the way to another "urgent" healing.