Touch is important from the moment we’re born. I can remember vividly the first time my (now) husband held my hand. There was something so special about that moment, all the butterflies and mushy stuff. Even now, physical touch is such an important aspect in marriage. It is a nonverbal communication that signifies what another person means to you.
Mark 5:21–34 tells the story of a woman who had a “discharge of blood” that she had dealt with for 12 years. She had spent all of her money on physicians and burdened so much shame being considered “unclean” under the Mosaic law. This woman desired to be part of society again. She was desperate, having been shunned for 12 years of her life and cut off from everyday normal activity due to this ailment. Under the Mosaic Law, everything she owned and touched was also considered unclean, so you can imagine that people probably avoided being around her altogether. She was not only suffering physically, but emotionally and mentally as well.
Imagine her excitement when she heard that the Healer was coming to her town. She didn’t care about the crowd, she pushed her way through. She thought, “If I could just touch even his garments, I will be healed.” Upon touching his cloak, she could physically feel her body being healed as the blood dried up.
Even though this woman thought that she would be reprimanded for touching Jesus due to her uncleanliness, she knew that simply brushing his cloak would heal her body. You know that there had to be hundreds of people around Jesus all hoping to catch a glimpse of him, yet Mark doesn’t say that everyone was healed of their sicknesses upon accidentally bumping into him. Only this woman, who purposefully sought him out and purposefully touched him, was healed. When Jesus felt his power leave him, he asked who it was that had touched him. It is interesting that he does this, because God, being all-knowing, knew who it was. He just wanted everyone else to know that this woman’s faith in him was what had healed her.
This woman sought Jesus out desperately, and Jesus turned around to face her. When was the last time you intentionally pursued Jesus because you were desperate for him to do what you knew he could do?
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the broken hearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
— Psalm 34:17–19