At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’”
We all want to be treated personally, but we feel like we’re being treated like everyone else. Just another number. We’re only another entry in some big, impersonal, database out there somewhere. No one treats us as special, as an individual. Try as they might, with ever increasing technology, we know that people out there really don’t know us personally. And they don’t want to know us either.
How many pieces of mail do you get addressed to “Current Resident?” How many emails do you get that are addressed to “Dear Friend?” How many robocalls and texts do you get from software that could care less about you? They are no more your friend then the man in the moon. Or, my personal favorite, the database has bad information and it either has the wrong name or fills in something like “#name.”
Yes, we’ve lost the art of being personal with others. But within ourselves, we know who we are. We also sense when there is a change. We still know when something happens deep within our soul. We still sense it.
And just like the woman personally experienced the healing deep within her, Jesus experienced a deep, personal experience. He somehow understood that power had somehow departed, been drained away. But what kind of power is this? You can think of power in two different ways.
· Power to overcome resistance. Resistance happens when something else is holding it there. Something is stuck. It’s wedged in and you can’t get it out. Or there is a lock holding it, stopping it from moving.
· Power to make a change. Somethings are just too big or heavy to move. You don’t have the energy or the force to overcome its weight. It’s just too heavy to move. Things have been that way for way too long for them to all of a sudden shift.
When Jesus says that someone had touched his clothes, the disciples are just at a total loss. People were all around. They were like sardines in a can. They were squeezed together like grapes being mashed for wine. Of course, someone had touched him. Heck, lots of people were touching him, pressing against him.
But this was different. This wasn’t just a random pressing, but a deliberate reaching out and touching. There was a focus and purpose to this touch. It wasn’t just to be near, just to make contact. No, this touch was an act of faith. This touch was a healing connection.
You don’t reach out like this unless you know you’ve got a problem. You don’t try and make contact unless you are convinced that things are bad. You don’t extend your hand unless you have come to the end of your rope and realize that you can’t fix it yourself.
It took this woman a long time to get to this point. Lots of travel. Lots of doctors. Lots of supposed cures. Lots of failure. Lots of waisted money. Lots of lost hope.
In the end, she knew that she had to reach out to Jesus. And when she did, she knew it changed her. There was an immediate sense that her life was going to be different. Drastically different.
Jesus was also aware of her actions. He wasn’t insensitive about it. He wasn’t blind to it. He knew that someone had touched his clothes and that something of him flowed to her.
She did the reaching out, but the transforming, healing power came from within who Jesus is. Yes, she stuck out her arm. Yes, her hand reached out and touched Jesus’ clothes. But the power to change a life, the power to change a life, only comes from Jesus.
You can look far and wide. You can climb mountains. You can search for spiritual gurus. You can change your diet. You can discipline your mind and body. You can meditate till the cows come home. And all of this might help a little bit.
But none of it can radically transform who we are deep inside. None of it can reach down into who we really are. These are all only so many different coats of paint, applied to the outside. And like paint, it’s only on the surface. It does not change us deep down inside.
The only one who can do that is Jesus. We need to reach out to Jesus. We need to let go of all our attempts to heal ourselves. We need to walk away from letting others try and heal us. Our focus and aim need to be on Jesus, and Jesus alone. Peter’s words in his first sermon say it best.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
Let all of your searching and finding end when you find Jesus.