“Who touched My clothes?” (Mark 5:30)
Touch (or contact) can be intentional or incidental. An affectionate touch can alter our mood and biorhythms substantially. So can a punch. We offer hand-shakes and hugs to greet people and express our openness to them. Or we may push and prod people for just the opposite reason.
In Mark 5 we encounter a desperate woman. For twelve years she battled a hemorrhaging problem. Doctors had not helped her, and her bank account was empty.
She had heard about the Healer (Jesus) and thought, “If I just touch His garments, I’ll get well” (Mark 5:28). So, with people jostling all around her, she slipped up behind Him, reached out, and touched the hem of His robe. Unexpectedly, Jesus felt power go out from Him and turned around to the squeezing crowd and asked, “Who touched My clothes?”
The question was not designed to call out or embarrass someone. Just the opposite. Jesus intended to use the moment to honor the woman’s faith!
“Desperate times call for desperate measures,” we like to say. But this is more than a story of desperation. It’s a story of profound faith. Who else was leaning in on Jesus like that? Nobody. Yes, her circumstances were dire; but her faith was deep. And in her heart, she believed that all it takes is a touch.
This simple story presents a compelling truth. Healing does not happen only with a full embrace, a lengthy contact, or a prolonged conversation. All it takes is a touch. Renewal does not require years of dedication or torrents of tears. All it takes is a touch.
Many of us, in the deeper places of our hearts suspect that only the dedicated and the disciplined followers of Jesus deserve blessing. We imagine that He responds best to the whole and the holy. We start to think that He reserves His power for arm-raising, hand-waving, loud-preaching, Bible-quoting Christians. But this story puts that to rest.
His power awaits even those of us who, on our best days, can only sneak up quietly and reach out to touch the hem of His robe.
All it takes is a touch.
I wonder if we have sufficient confidence in Christ today to simply reach out with a trembling finger to touch Him? He will not scold us. On the contrary, He rewards such faith. And even the things which have plagued us for years, things that doctors and counselors have failed to heal, things that have drained our bank accounts and left us at the end of our rope, even such things…He can heal.
His power heals wounds and worries. His power restores health and hope. His power regenerates life. All it takes is a touch.