“One of The Crowd”
“A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 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. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering… [Jesus] said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Mark 5:24-29, 34
Have you ever read this story from the perspective of the crowd? Imagine being one of the first in line in this mob to see Jesus. My guess is that it felt like the worst “Door Opening on a Black Friday Sale”, but add the heat of day, dirt under your feet, and instead of a $200 TV, you just get to see what the fuss is about with this Jesus guy.
But you have a need. A real need. So you press in. And right as you are about to introduce yourself, she cuts in line. You know her, the one you’ve tried to disassociate with for years. The one your priest warns you about: “When you see her, cross the street at all costs”. But there she is, “contaminating” you with her presence and touching the hem of Christ’s robe. The nerve! And what’s worse? Jesus heals her, blesses her and then disappears to help someone else. And you’re left with your need in your heart and questioning whether you need to go get inspected and blessed for coming in contact with “her”.
There are seasons in our life where we have to have a front row seat to others blessings while we stand feeling alone in the middle of a crowd. Have you been there? I have. It’s tough. It tests you. But in those instances you can either learn from the testimonies of others and allow it to strengthen your pursuit of Jesus… or you can slip back into the crowd and let yourselves get further and further from Him.
I’m one who is writing “from the crowd” today. And here is what I take away from this unnamed woman:
- She came to Jesus with a specific need. She did not approach Jesus with an “unspoken” or a “whatever the Spirit leads you to” type of prayer request; she knew what she needed and brought it to Jesus.
- She risked it all to walk away changed. Because of the culture of the day, she was putting her whole life into this one encounter with Jesus; all or nothing.
- Jesus cared about her peace of mind as well as the suffering in her body. He discerned the mental, emotional and spiritual ramifications of her years of suffering and rejection from society, and He gave her holistic healing.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) If you, like me, grow weary at time of being just “one of the crowd”, take heart. Jesus knows you, and knows how to take care of you. He has not left you or forsaken you. And he loves you exactly the same as He loved this woman. Let’s continue to pray specific, respond in risky faith, and hold to the knowledge that Jesus cares about every part of us.
Pastor Cris Buck