Sometimes the timing of things makes me stop and just smile. This week on my way into town I spotted a bald eagle swooping around near the ground. Just as I passed by, the eagle pinned down a pheasant, grabbed the hen’s body with its talons and took flight. Pretty incredible timing! The same was true last week as I read Mike’s article in the Archive. As I read about Dr. Pimple Popper’s “mashed potato” moment I both gagged and remembered what I had read in my morning devotions a few days prior. Leviticus 13 and 14 is full of God’s very detailed instructions to Israel of what is clean and unclean in regards to their skin afflictions and diseases. It’s not for the faint of heart and the reason I skipped breakfast that morning!
The Bible reading plan I follow takes me through a variety of selections from both the Old and New Testament each morning. My recent Leviticus readings have included several topics and instructions God gave the Israelites while they were wandering in the desert. It has been interesting watching these same instructions tie into the culture of the New Testament as I read through them each day.
I was particularly struck when I read about the woman who needed healing in Mark 5. Jesus had been called by a distressed Father whose daughter was very sick and near death. The man begged Jesus to come quick and heal his daughter so she would live. (vs. 23) Being swarmed by a large crowd, Jesus agrees to follow the man. As he turns to go, Jesus feels someone touch his coat. When he asks the question, “Who touched my clothes?” (vs. 30) the followers thought he was crazy saying, “Who touched you? Look at all these people around you. Yet you wonder who has touched you? Seriously?” (my paraphrase from vs. 31). I don’t know about you, but I like my own space – my own personal bubble if you will. Jesus didn’t seem to mind, or perhaps even notice, the crowd pushing against him. The only contact he felt was the power of faith touching his coat.
The fifteenth chapter of Leviticus would reveal to us this woman was unclean due to her condition. This nameless lady had been bleeding for twelve years and would have likely been separated from everyone for that time. Twelve years is a long time to be alone, likely without any kind of financial support. Yet she had a hunch if she could just reach out and touch Jesus’ coat hem she would be healed.
The amazing part of this story for me that morning was not the healing. It was the idea that the woman didn’t let the “clean” crowd block her view of the Savior. There were years in my life where I didn’t feel clean and therefore didn’t think I could get near Jesus. What faith she had!
I also think we as Christians can innocently get caught up in our cleanliness of doing good and church busyness that it causes us to miss those who are desperately seeking Jesus; ultimately blocking their view of the Savior. May that not be so of us, friends. We were all dirty and unclean from our sin at one point in our life. Yet we reached out in faith, knowing we had no other choice than to trust, and grab hold of the hem of our Savior’s robe. Instead may we be more like Jesus who was always on a mission but always aware of the needs around him. May we ourselves reach out to those we encounter and help them step forward in faith to find the healing touch of their Savior.