"Woman who touched the hem
of His garment" by Harold Copping
TO CHEW ON: "And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, 'Who touched My clothes?'" Mark 5:30
Jesus wasn't content to let the woman just slip away, healed. It was as if He felt the need to seal the deal with a little explanation.
When the healed-but-terrified woman identified herself, Jesus didn't scold or embarrass her, but made the simple yet profound statement, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."
An endnote in my Bible expands:
"Jesus desires to perfect the woman's faith and to lead her to a public confession of faith. He rewards her testimony with the assurance that she can go in peace" - J. Lyle Story, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1358.
There are pointers we can take away from this little incident
- Maybe we shouldn't squirm so much over altar calls. It seems there is something that happens inside of us when we make a public profession by responding physically to what's happening inside of us, like Jesus asked this woman to do. Such a response seems to confirm, cement, and make that transaction real.
- When we counsel or pray for people, a little insight may be in order. Jesus often prefaced or ended his conversations with seekers by making pointed statements about the spiritual aspect of their conditions. Of course we're not Jesus and don't have His insights, but we do have His Spirit, on whom we need to depend for help and "words of knowledge."
The snide voice inside this woman's head that would say, "Maybe He didn't heal you. Maybe it was just a coincidence that you felt better the minute you touched His clothes," will never have a chance, now that she has identified herself to Jesus, and He has tied the package tight with His words of affirmation and truth.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You for these Bible stories that illustrate faith and show me how You interacted with people. Help me to apply the principles to my own life of faith and in my interactions with others. Amen.
MORE: Altar Calls
The custom of calling people to come to the front of a church sanctuary or meeting hall in response to a spiritual invitation is an old one. Read about the history of of what we call altar calls in "When and why did the custom of conducting altar calls begin?"
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.