The Attitude of Faith
One of my favorite stories in the Bible in terms of a clear expression of faith comes from Mark 5:24-34, the story of the bleeding woman. For those unfamiliar with the story, this woman had been bleeding for over 12 years and suffered immensely. She had visited many doctors attempting to alleviate the problem, but sadly, none were ever able to help her. As the years went by her prognosis grew worse and hope was fading away. That was until Jesus came passing by on His way to bring healing to the child of a leader from the local synagogue.
It was in this moment that something shifted in this woman as suddenly she gets up with the hope that "if I can just touch His robe, I will be healed." (v28). She reaches out and immediately the bleeding stops! In this moment, she realizes that she had just been healed of this terrible condition she had suffered from.
Jesus also realizes that healing power had left Him and in that moments stops to ask "Who touched my robe?" (v30). A strange question to ask as there was a huge crowd around Him, many of which were pressing into Him. Despite the objection of the disciples, Jesus continues to look to see who it was that touched Him when finally the woman comes before Him and explains everything. Jesus then responds to her in a rather unexpected way. "Daughter, your faith has made you well."(v34)
Many who will read this blog post will likely have heard many sermons preached on this story. It is a powerful story of healing where an impossible situation instantly changes. However, I believe there is more to this story to ponder on. There is more to the woman than many of us realize when we read through this story.
Culturally, this woman was a social outcast. Not only was she a woman (women were very oppressed in these times), but she was a woman with a physical condition that could not be cured. Worse, her condition was one of bleeding, which made anyone who touched her "unclean" thus making it impossible for them to entering the temple and participating in religious activities. For her to get up like this and pass through the crowd of people would not only have incited punishment for her, but possibly extreme punishment or even death.
Imagine what she must have thought in this moment. Jesus, the man many believed was the Messiah, is walking down the street she is sitting on. A huge crowd is going with Him in anticipation of seeing an amazing miracle take place. "If I can just touch His robe, I will be healed"(v28) she tells herself. "But how can I get there? How do I get through all these people? What will the people do to me when I bump into them? What will His disciples do when I touch their Rabbi?" There are many things that I imagine she thought of, but it is clear from the story that none of those thoughts were strong enough to keep her sitting there on the side of the road! She flat out did not care what people thought or what they might do to her! All that mattered was the touch of His robe as she knew that her healing moment was passing right in front of her! Nothing was going to keep her from getting the healing she knew was hers!
What an example for us as the body of Christ to follow! How often do we see the answer to our problems right there in front of us, but then allow the seeds of doubt to penetrate our thinking and keep us from taking a step forward? How often do we stay sitting on the side of the road waiting for a "sign" before taking action?
Church, I believe it is time for us to learn from this woman and understand that faith is more than just a belief that something can happen, it is an attitude / mindset that leads to bold and courageous actions! It is taking hold of the truth that God is the Great I AM! He is a present tense God who is right there before you, ready to bring healing and life to your difficult circumstances!
The only thing left to decide now is what are you going to do? Will you stay on the sidewalk waiting for a "sign" that this is your moment? Will you be one of those in the crowd, following Jesus hoping to see a miracle? (notice that she is the only one who had a miracle happen in this story, despite a multitude of people present) Or will you get up, push through the crowd, and take hold of the miracle that is already yours? What are you going to do?