Every moment can be a teaching opportunity.
Know someone with this mindset? Perhaps it was a parent or grandparent or maybe a teacher or coach, but somehow they were able to use everyday occurrences to help you learn. Or maybe that’s you.
Jesus never missed a moment to open the minds of the people to see God more clearly and gain understanding of the truth. If you’ll remember, we just studied about Jesus going to Jairus’ house and healing his daughter. This passage falls right in the middle of that story.
“For he had one only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she lay a dying. But as he went the people thronged him. And a woman having an issue of blood twelve years, which had spent all her living upon physicians, neither could be healed of any, Came behind him, and touched the border of his garment: and immediately her issue of blood stanched. And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me. And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately. And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.”Luke 8:42-48
First things first – did Jesus really have to ask, “Who touched me?” because He didn’t know?
On several occasions already, we have read that Jesus knew someone’s thoughts before they ever spoke or even when they chose not to. He has already proved that He is all-knowing. So why then ask, “who touched me?”
Let’s look closer at the woman. She has had what they called an issue of blood. According to Jewish law, this would have made her unclean. And for anyone to touch her would have been unlawful and defiled them.
But stop for a second and think about this. It says she had this issue for 12 years. Can you imagine? She had spent every penny she had trying to find out what the cause was and how to get the bleeding to stop, but there was no physician that could figure it out. How lonely of a life that must have been.
Knowing her condition and the law, she risked everything to even be in the crowd that day. But, desperate for healing and having heard of Jesus, she knew this was her only hope. In the crowd, people pushed and shoved, trying to get a glimpse of Jesus, and she somehow managed to reach Him. With one touch, everything changed.
Jesus stopped and asked the question, ”who touched me?” not because He didn’t know, but because this was a teachable moment. He already knew the woman and her ailment. He knew her pain and despair from this disease and the reaction from others and the loneliness it brought. Jesus asked the question to the disciples, but in this crowd of people, others could hear. The disciples responded that it was a large crowd and it could have been anyone.
But Jesus, stopped in the middle of the crowd, points out something very important. “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.”
He wanted all to know, including the woman, it was not His garment that held any special ability to heal, but He alone had the power. But it was even more than that. He gave this woman the chance to come forward. The woman who had risked everything by coming to the city that day. The one everyone would recognize as unclean. The one they would turn and run from. She could have turned and ran, but instead, she fell at His feet, declaring she was healed because of Him.
Can you imagine the shock and amazement at this? Many would see who the woman was and recoil to think Jesus had allowed someone unclean to touch Him. But instead of becoming defiled by her, she was healed by Him.
And He offers the same thing to us. Because of our sin, we are unclean. There is nothing we can do to save ourselves. There is no physician that can heal us and no amount of money that can change us. Just as this woman came in faith to Jesus, we too must humbly come before Him, recognizing that He alone has the power to change us. What was once dirty and defiled is now whole and pure.
“Though my sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”Isaiah 1:18
Jesus has the power to cleanse us from all unrighteousness and shame. We simply have to come forward and ask for His salvation. And then, we have the privilege and honor to publicly proclaim what He has done for us and that’s the purpose of baptism. And then, we learn what it means to surrender our lives and follow Him daily.
Jesus already knows your heart. And He’s calling you to step out today. What is it that He’s calling you to do? Is it to be saved? Is it to publicly proclaim that salvation and be baptized? Or maybe it’s that He’s calling you to follow Him since He is your Lord. It’s time to make that decision. Step out in faith like this woman, no matter the cost.