“But he kept on looking around to see who had done it. Then the frightened woman, trembling at the realization of what had happened to her, came and fell to her knees in front of him and told him what she had done. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”” – Mark 5:32-34.
Jesus was accustomed to crowds: “Large crowds followed him wherever he went…” (Matthew 4:25) “A large crowd soon gathered around him, so he got into a boat….” (Matthew 13:2) And Matthew 15:30 says, “A vast crowd brought to him people who were lame, blind, crippled, those who couldn’t speak, and many others.” The Bible often talks about a single person in a crowd. The Gospels tell the story of a woman who was bleeding for twelve continuous years and who was healed by Jesus simply because she touched the edge of His robe. Religious laws at the time, required to announce her presence by shouting “Unclean! Unclean!” This kept people far from her. She probably kept quiet that day as she walked through the crowds.
Her plan was to touch His robe. No announcement. No request for healing. No attention is drawn to herself at all. But Jesus noticed that someone touched Him. He could have let it slide and continued on His way. But He didn’t. The Bible does not tell us, but I wonder if He wanted to make a connection with her. To let her know He loved her and that she was not just one person in a crowd. She was special, unique, and important.
Maybe you are somebody who has been following the crowd. It is so easy just to do what seems popular at the moment; agreeing with popular opinions. Following worldly philosophies because they attract attention. Going to places just because other people go there. But just like the bleeding woman, you are special, unique, and important. You may have followed and even copied the crowd. You may have listened to ungodly advice. You may have concentrated so much on your circumstances that you stopped focusing on Christ. But whether your story is exceptional, average or even below average, God sees you in the crowd. And when you reach out to touch His robe, when you call out in prayer, He feels your touch on His robe. His power in faith is available to you as well.
If you feel like you are part of the crowd, ask yourself these questions: Will they take you where you hope to go, lead you to be who you hope to become? They won’t, they can’t. Following Jesus is not easy or easier. It’s just better. Jesus models and teaches us a better way to live more in line with how we were created to live. We will find the deepest meaning, purpose and significance in life when we stand out in the crowd as a followe of Jesus.
- What connection is there between a person’s faith and whether God heals him or her of a sickness?
- In what way do we need to feel that God is approachable?
- What can we do this week to be less crowd oriented and more Jesus oriented?