“And, behold a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind Him, and touch the hem of His garment; for she said within herself, ‘If I may touch His garment, I shall be whole.’” (Matthews 5:20-21)
On the way to the ruler’s house, Jesus met, in the crowd, a poor woman who for 12 years had suffered from a disease that made her life a burden. She had spent her life savings on physicians and remedies, only to be pronounced incurable.
But her hope revived when she heard of the cures Christ performed. She felt assured that if she could only get to Him, she could be healed. In weakness and suffering, she pressed her way to the seaside, where Jesus was teaching, and she pressed her way through the crowd.
The golden opportunity had come — she was in the presence of the great physician.
But amid the confusion, she could not speak to Him or catch more than a glimpse of His figure.
Fearful of losing her one chance of relief she pressed forward, saying to herself, “If I may but touch the clothes, I shall be made whole.”
As Jesus was passing, she reached forward and succeeded in barely touching the border of His garment. In that moment, she knew she was healed; in that one touch was concentrated the faith of her life, and her pain and feebleness instantly gave way to the vigor of perfect health.
With a grateful heart, she tried to withdraw from the crowd. But suddenly, Jesus stopped, and the people halted with Him. He turned, looked and asked in a voice distinctly heard above the confusion of the multitude, “Who touched me?”
The people answered this question with a look of amazement. It seemed a strange inquiry from one being touched by so many.
After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gift that the gospel offers is not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. The Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. “Ye are My witnesses,’ saith the Lord, ‘that I am God’” (Isaiah 43:3).
Our confession of His faithfulness is heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world.
We are to acknowledge His grace as made through the holy men of old, but that which will be most effectual is testimony of our experience.
The souls that respond to the grace of God shall be like a watered garden. Their health shall spring forth speedily.
Their light shall spring forth in obscurity, and the glory of the Lord shall be seen upon them.
Harper is the pastor of Emmanuel New Covenant Ministry and a member of the United Ministerial Alliance.