“It seemed to the disciples an unreasonable question. As Jesus had begun moving from town to town, crowds had begun gathering around him, following him everywhere he went. And this day was no different. Moved with compassion by the desperate plea of a father for his dying daughter, Jesus was making his way to save the life of a little girl. His disciples were following behind him as the crowds began pressing in around him, when Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’” (Mark 5:30).
And yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’
reports about jesus
Maybe she’d heard how Jesus had restored a man’s withered hand with a single command, or how he’d freed a man held captive by an army of demons just on the other side of the sea. Whatever it was, “she had heard the reports about Jesus” (Mark 5:27) and that had brought this woman to this moment—that, and the brokenness of her life.
Twelve years of menstruation. Twelve years of suffering at physicians’ failed attempts. Penniless and with nothing left to lose, she did the unthinkable. Hiding herself in what must have seemed to her a faceless crowd, she stretched out her hand, reaching maybe just far enough to let her fingers sweep across his outermost garment—the unthinkable and unacceptable.
The unthinkable and unacceptable because women like her, women with issues like hers, had no business being touching distance from anyone. Jewish law made that clear (Leviticus 15:25–27). A woman’s menstruation made her unclean. It marked her and everything she touched. Where she slept. Where she sat. She couldn’t worship at the temple. And whoever touched her would be contaminated by her impurity. So maybe she thought no one would notice her among the crowds, that no one would pull away from her for fear of contamination. Or maybe all she could think about was getting just close enough. “If I touch even his garments,” she said, “I will be made well” (Mark 5:28).
One touch was all it took. More than a lifetime’s worth of pain wiped away in a single moment. But then she heard him speak: “Who touched my garments?” And she must have been expecting his reproof, because she “came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth” (Mark 5:33). How many times do we come to Jesus just like this? How many times do we come in fear? And how many times do we come trembling, expecting reproof?
lives of broken moments
Maybe she didn’t want to bother him. Or maybe she thought he wouldn’t bother with her. Jesus was on the way to save the life of a little girl, a desperate man’s daughter, but the truth, both for this woman and for us, is that Jesus makes room for interruptions, even when they come at the most inconvenient times.
It’s easy to take stock of our lives and mourn for how messy and broken they’ve been—how messy and broken they are. But in the midst of the brokenness of our lives, when we have a tendency to feel most alone and most dejected, we have the assurance of knowing those moments don’t go unnoticed. Jesus turned to this woman, and without a hint of reproof, said, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease” (Mark 5:34). Jesus takes notice of the broken and messy things. He came to touch and heal the broken. Maybe we haven’t suffered for a dozen years straight, but, then again, maybe we have. Whatever has made up the fragments of our lives, we can know they’re not beyond the reach of God’s loving mercy.
Watch Session One
Jesus Responds to Our Need
Consider what fears, relationships, or other aspects of your life you ’re not willing to interrupt Jesus with. Why not?
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