MORE BOUNDARIES TO CROSS
Lord, give me Your vision of other people.
Read MARK 5:21–34
Jesus Raises a Dead Girl and Heals a Sick Woman
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility” (Eph 2:14).
After healing the demon-possessed man, Jesus is asked to leave the area, and He returns to Galilee. A woman suffering from prolonged hemorrhage approaches Him. From the description that Mark gives us (25–27), this woman is in a very lonely, painful, pitiful, and therefore desperate situation. According to the Law of Moses, her condition renders her unclean, and all that come in contact with her are rendered unclean as well (Lev 15:25–28). She may not socialize. If she has a family, her husband and children have probably abandoned her.
Despite her condition, she approaches Jesus from behind and touches His cloak. She is healed immediately. She probably seeks to slip away from the crowd quietly, but this is not to be. Jesus realizes what has happened and wants to identify her. Why would Jesus do that? For Jesus, identifying this woman is not an attempt to shame her publicly for her unclean condition. Rather, it is a public declaration that she is already healed and does not need to wait the seven days to perform the ceremonial rituals required by the Law of Moses (Lev 15:28–30). More than that, Jesus also wants to restore her to her community so that everyone knows she has been made whole. She can now socialize. She can touch, hug, and kiss someone, something she has been unable to do for the last 12 years. Imagine her joy!
Jesus crosses ritual, religious, and gender boundaries to heal this woman. Today there are many boundaries that separate us from others: social-economic status, educational level and, in some communities, the caste system. Are we willing to cross these boundaries to reach out to others who need a healing touch from the Lord?
Which boundaries have you crossed in the past in order to reach someone?
Lord, grant me courage to cross the boundaries that divide us so that I can be Your willing servant to share Your love with others.