Have you ever been out in a large crowd? You know, the kind where you can barely move, people bumping up against you…you find it difficult to make your way out? Crowds can be exciting and terrifying at the same time. You can get lost in them.
I spoke at Kishinev Bible Church yesterday afternoon. Evghenni Sologubenco, the church’s pastor, translated for me into Russian and also served as my prop holder! My text was Mark 5:24-34. This is the story of a woman who had an affliction for 12 years. She had come to the point of desperation in her life. It was her last chance. The Bible tells us that she was out in a large crowd trying to make her way to Jesus. She was alone and empty inside…even though she was in the midst of hundreds of people. Ever feel that way?
Mark tells us that all she wanted to do, was to somehow get close enough to touch the fringe of Jesus’ garment. She wasn’t looking to talk with Jesus. She didn’t want Him to see her…let alone ask Him to heal her. She must have felt deeply embarrassed and ashamed. According to Jewish law, she was unclean…and anyone she touched, would become unclean as well.
Somewhere along the way she heard that the fringes or tassels on the prayer shawl of the Messiah would heal her. In fact, Malachi 4:2 says, “But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings.” The rabbis taught that this verse referred to the Messiah, who would have healing in the wings or tassels of His prayer shawl.
She passes by hundreds of men wearing prayer shawls in the crowd that day and goes directly to Jesus. Reaching out and touching one of the tassels…she immediately was healed. She felt it. Jesus did to.
In an amazing act of love and compassion, Jesus turns around and asks, “Who touched me?” He looks for her in the mass of people…and in the most significant moment of her life…finds her…turns His face toward her…and says, “your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.” The word used for “healing” here, is also a word used for salvation.
Placing her faith in Jesus Christ not only healed her physically, but far more importantly, it cleansed her of sin, and brought her into a forever relationship with the One who had turned His face toward her.
Lost in the crowd? Not when Jesus is out in it. He has turned His face toward you.
The Hebrew embroidered on the collar reads, “Blessed are You Lord God, King of the universe. Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to wrap ourselves in the tassels.” Wrap yourself up today in the love of Jesus.