Tuesday, November 15, 2011
You faith has made you well
Mark 5:25-34 (ESV) And there was a woman who had had a discharge 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.  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 will be made well."  And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.  And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out 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 happened 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." “But the woman came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth.” I don’t know that I can even begin to understand what it must have been like to be this woman. She had been unclean for 12 years. Women in this condition were supposed to politely remove themselves from society until which time the bleeding stopped. Doable I suppose for a week. 12 years? But her and anyone she touched would be considered unclean, unable to go to the temple, unable to participate in the festivals. They could come back and join society when they were no longer bloated, and cranky. This puts the woman in a little bit of a predicament. By touching Jesus she makes him unclean. Of course it is a matter of performing a couple rituals and waiting to become clean again, but it was at least a hassle. In touching Jesus, in touching his clothes, she did something that could be considered sinning against him. Technically she had made him unclean. So she responds in fear and trembling to the questions Jesus asks of the crowd. But Jesus heals her, and dismisses her. He lets her know that her faith has made her well. So when we come into contact with Christ, we too make him unclean, we contaminate him with our sin. But when we do so in faith, we are made well. Jesus Cleans us and makes us well. But we don’t merely touch his robes. Christ gives us his very own body and blood to forgive our sins, we consume his very flesh, and there our faith makes us well.