Do we want to be healed of our own deep interior affliction? Do we want to hear Jesus speak the words to our heart, “your faith has made you well,”? Then we must seek Jesus in the midst of the crowd, we must have the courage to approach Him, and we must have the faith to believe that our reaching out and touching Him will result in our healing even the greatest affliction we carry.
How many of us have been approached by that enthusiastic evangelizer who asked the question, “Have you found Jesus?”
In our more sarcastic days, which are well beyond at this point, we might have been tempted to respond with a snarky, “Well, I didn’t know He was lost.”
The truth is Jesus is not lost; He never has been. But many souls in this crazy world are, in fact, stumbling around in the crowd looking desperately for Him to assist with their most pressing needs and desires. Many are just looking for something to grab on to, something that will allow us to make sense of so much of what has never made sense in our lives. Some of us may have spent what we consider to have been the best years of our lives pursuing something that did not bring us what we hoped it would.
And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him. And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse.(Mark 5:24b-26)
What so many people discover, after spending years seeking meaning and purpose in the things of this world, is that nothing the world has to offer will ever satisfy the depth of the yearning God has placed in the human heart. Our need for fulfillment, purpose and meaning goes well beyond anything found in this world, and that is one of the greatest gifts God has given to us.
If you should doubt this idea, consider whether you have ever felt completely content and fulfilled with what life has provided. This is not referring to a simple response like, “Well, yes, it’s been a good life.“
No, this refers to the fulfillment of the kind of desire we all harbored as children, back when there were no limits to what we could dream, what we could think about becoming as we got older, what we might be able to experience in life. Of course, even then, all of our expectations would have been limited to what the world had to offer.
But what if there was an experience, an encounter, a sense of fulfillment that went beyond what even our most creative imaginations could envision, now or then? What if there really was an experience of total fulfillment?
She had heard the reports about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, “If I touch even his garments, I shall be made well.” And immediately the hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.(Mark 5:27-29)
It is perfectly appropriate to read this incident from Scripture as merely a physical healing, but if we want to seek and fully understand the deeper meaning of so many of the events in Scripture, we must consider that Christ did everything with a larger purpose in mind; His intention was always to point us to the reality of eternal life. In this case, the healing the woman experienced, after seeking answers from so many worldly sources, was an indication of the healing Christ wants to perform for all of us. But this requires us to take the time to find Jesus in the midst of the crowd.
The crowd can be understood as all those distractions the world imposes on us which keep us away from our encounter with Christ. But if we would only persist in our effort to fulfill the deepest yearning in our heart, we could be healed of the whatever affliction we carry within ourselves. We each have this unquenchable yearning for something that we will discover is not going to be met by this world. This deep desire of our heart, the healing of the wound we all carry, will only be realized by our coming into His presence, reaching out in faith, and coming in direct contact with the only one who knows about our deepest wound, and is the only one who can heal it.
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him, immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, “Who touched my garments?” And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’” And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”(Mark 5:30-34)
Do we want to be healed of our own deep interior affliction? Do we want to hear Jesus speak the words to our heart, “your faith has made you well,”? Then we must seek Jesus in the midst of the crowd, we must have the courage to approach Him, and we must have the faith to believe that our reaching out and touching Him will result in our healing even the greatest affliction we carry. These are not just physical ailments. But are more often the spiritual afflictions that have left us deeply wounded in our soul.
This healing is done in prayer, in faith, and with a great need to fulfill our deepest desires.
This week let’s pray that we might all seek to find Christ in the midst of the crowd, and that we might all be healed of our deepest spiritual affliction. And, most especially, that we might experience Christ communicating to us His eternal promise – that we might, “Go in Peace.”
Copyright © Mark Danis
Image credit: “Healing of a Bleeding Woman” (detail) Unknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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