Thursday, January 9, 2014

He Knew. He Knows.

For she said within herself, If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole. (Matthew 9:21 KJV)

Sunday’s sermon is online, “How Do We Respond When God’s Answer Is Wait?” It made me think of this woman. A couple of years ago I had Mark Hopkins’ permission to use this graphic – though it’s no longer on his site, I hope that permission stands because I love this piece of sculpture. We know what she said to herself, both Matthew and Mark record it. We aren’t told what she didn’t say, but I doubt she said, “OK, first I have to learn all about him, then I have to do what he says, then I have to do it perfectly for the rest of my life ….”

No, she said “If I may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.” Why can’t we understand that? “If I reach out to him, I shall be whole.” Do we think he doesn’t know?

Actually, I like the way it’s written in Mark even better:

For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. (Mark 5:28 KJV)

In Matthew, he writes that Jesus spoke to her:

But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her, he said, Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. (Matthew 9:22 KJV)

Mark goes into more detail:

And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes? (Mark 5:30 KJV)

His disciples didn’t know who touched Him, or how He could possibly be able to pick out one person. She was brave enough to approach and confess:

But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. (Mark 5:33 KJV)

As Matthew, Mark wrote that Jesus acknowledged her faith, and her wholeness:

And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague. (Mark 5:34 KJV)

He knew when she touched him.  He knew why she touched him. He knew the strength of her faith – and he wanted those around him to recognize what happened.  They did, and wrote it down.

Now – can I have that same faith? Enough faith that he is capable of doing what I expect? Enough faith that I will reach out to touch even the hem of his garment? Enough faith to believe he will know?

I should. Yet, I sound much more similar to another who reached out and asked Jesus for help:

Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24 KJV)

Please, Lord, do help my hesitation, my unbelief, my lack of faith even though you have provided. Thank you for reaching back, even though my ability to reach for you is limited. Help me know that you do know!!

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