A Changed Life

Luke 8:45-48
And Jesus said, Who touched me? When all denied, Peter and they that were with him said, Master, the multitude throng thee and press thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?  And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.  And when the woman saw that she was not hid, she came trembling, and falling down before him, she declared unto him before all the people for what cause she had touched him, and how she was healed immediately.  And he said unto her, Daughter, be of good comfort: thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace.

Did her heart stop at those words: “Who touched me”?  Because she had touched Him.  She had touched Jesus on purpose.  She had planned it out and considered that act deliberately.  Maybe she had thought, with the crowd pushing and shoving, that she could just reach for His garment and no one would ever have to know.  But now Jesus is stopping to ask that question.

And she knew within her that a miracle had happened, that her problem was fixed, that that virtue Jesus mentioned affected her.  She wanted to hide and deny with the rest.  She didn’t want to say that it had been her.  But now she’s being singled out, compelled to confess.  Now she came fearfully before Jesus, maybe afraid of rebuke, afraid she’d done something wrong or offended Him somehow.  But she shares her story with Him and that whole crowd of people, a story Jesus already knew.

When she finishes that story—the 12 years of suffering, the doctors, the money she spent, the cures she tried to no avail, the absolute helplessness of her situation and then the immediate difference Jesus made—He doesn’t scold her or shame her.  He comforts her with His kindness and His love.  He comforts her with His acceptance and His peace.  He sends her away to her new life with the understanding that her faith in Him was what made the difference.  Surely, then, His peace filled her and cast away her fear.  And maybe she walked a little taller as she made her way back whole and healed.

How could she live now, suddenly free from what had surely consumed her for so long?  What did it mean to her to be released so completely?  What did it mean that reaching out in faith to Jesus changed everything for her?  Because this is what Jesus wanted for her, too.  It wasn’t like other times where Jesus sought someone who had a need or responded to someone’s request for healing.  But in a way, He was still waiting for her to come and reach her hand.  Jesus wants to change our lives, too.  He wants us to reach out in faith to Him.  He wants us to experience His grace and mercy in an individual and unique way.  So are we simply willing to trust in Him and let Him do His work in us?

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