Scripture: Mark 5:24 And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years… 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?”…32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
Observation: We see in this story a woman desperate for healing, as were many people who pressed in on Jesus. V.33 tells us the woman “came in fear and trembling”. Why? Well, I suppose part of the fear was her awareness of the Jewish rules regarding “cleanliness”. As one with a flow of blood, touching Jesus made him ritually “unclean”, which was a big deal in Jesus’ day. Yet, despite her fear, she touched Jesus and was indeed healed as expected.
She then responded to Jesus’ inquiry “Who touched my clothes?” by “telling him the whole truth”. She likely expected to be rebuked or even punished for ritually compromising a holy man of God. But instead, Jesus commended her for her faith.
Application: It’s remarkable how often fear and faith go together. There’s a woman in our congregation who has impressed me with her honest humility and willingness to trust God in more and more areas of her life. She is learning what it means to “seek first the Kingdom of God” and it’s giving her the life God had in mind for her all along. She is truly blossoming on the inside.
She was recently asked to serve in an important leadership role at our church. At first she was surprised to be asked, but has now accepted that God is inviting her to step out of her comfort zone. Exciting opportunity? Yes. Freaking her out a bit? Yes.
Fear and faith.
Question: Where might fear be getting in the way of your faithful obedience to the call Jesus has on your life?
Prayer: Lord, fear is a normal response when we’re challenged. Fear can protect us from danger, but fear can also inhibit our walk with you. Give us grace to overcome our fears in service to you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.