And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him,
immediately turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my garments?”
The last thing the bleeding woman wanted was for Jesus to notice her. Her plan was pretty simple: “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well” (v.28). She intended to sneak up and discreetly touch his garments, thus creating no attention. She did not need or hope for a word. She did not need or hope for a touch. She wanted no personal attention.
Yet, Jesus noticed. In the midst of the busy crowd, Jesus noticed power had gone out from him and He asked who touched his garments. And then “he looked around to see who had done it” (v.32). He looked and kept looking, giving the woman time to step forward and display another expression of faith. She had the faith to draw near to Jesus. But did she have the faith to address Jesus?
So many of us are okay with getting near, getting in proximity to Jesus. Yet, we never really address Jesus. We’re okay with others praying, with others singing, with others truly surrendering all to Jesus. But some of us stay back, stay silent, and watch. And we dread being called to step forward in personal faith.
I asked Sunday, “What would you have done if you were this woman? Better, what are you doing?” The Lord is speaking to us. He’s calling us to greater displays of faith, greater acts of service, greater depths of personal communion with Jesus. He’s calling us to step forward in the crowd and testify of His mercy and grace to us. So, church family, what are you personally doing in response to the Lord’s calling?
When the formerly bleeding woman stepped forward, “she came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth” (v.33). In front of the large crowd, she “told him the whole truth” of her pain and suffering, of her despair and losing hope, of her hearing of Jesus’ other miracles, and of her growing hope as she heard Jesus had come back to town. She told Jesus about her simple plan. She did not remain silent. She spoke up and “told him the whole truth.”
We have to remember the woman had a story to tell, in part, because others had shared their stories. She hadn’t personally witnessed all the miracles. She hadn’t personally heard all of Jesus’ teachings. But she had somehow heard about Jesus and hope began to grow in her heart. Someone, in a different time and place, shared with her about the great and mighty work of Jesus. So when Jesus gave her the opportunity to speak up, it only made sense to do what others had done for her. In faith, she reached out a hand to Jesus. And in the next act of faith, she opened her mouth to tell the whole truth.
If you know Jesus — been forgiven of your sin, covered with Jesus’ righteousness, given a new heart, and indwelled with the Holy Spirit — you have a story to tell. And God’s will is for you and me to be like the woman and tell the whole truth. For some, it may turn out to be in a public setting. For others, it will be one-to-one with a friend or co-worker. But we all have a story to tell.
O Church Family, I long for Jesus to be known in our families and in our community. The joy we possess in Christ is so wonderful and yet we’re surrounded by so many broken, hurting, and lost people. They want joy and peace and fulfillment. So they drive themselves crazy earning or protecting their wealth. They pursue sex, alcohol, education, family, work or social accomplishments — all in the hope that just one of these will produce a satisfying joy, peace, and fulfillment. But we know only Christ satisfies. Only Christ gives peace. They want it. We have it. And Jesus is looking to us — Black Mountain Baptist Church — and calling us forward to tell the whole truth.
What will we do with our stories? Who needs to hear the whole truth about your sin, pain, shame, despair? Who needs to hear the whole truth about you hearing about Jesus and hope beginning to rise in your heart?
Sure, it’s risky. But if this bleeding woman could speak to us, she’d quickly tell us the real risk for her was in NOT coming to Christ and NOT trusting Him. Had she stayed away, she would have missed healing. She would have missed Christ. So the risk isn’t really in drawing near to Christ and speaking up. He’s there. He’s with you. Trust Him. Step forward. Tell the whole truth of God’s mercy in your life.