Every time you reach out in prayer to touch Jesus you are doing a bold and remarkable thing. Think for a moment. Who are you to come to the throne of the Almighty, sinless God of the universe?
There is someone in scripture who did just that, knowing that if she reached out to Jesus her life would be changed forever. We know her only at the woman with the “Issue of blood.”
“There was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and who had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, ‘If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.’ And immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone out from him, immediately turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my garments?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing around you, and yet you say, ‘Who touched me?’’ And he looked around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling and fell down before him and told him the whole truth. And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease’” (Mark 525-34).
Why was the way she reached out to Jesus so remarkable? It has to do with her condition and the society she lived in. Many commentators remark that the issue of blood the scripture refers to was a problem with this woman’s menstruation cycle. The hint about this is found in verse 29 when she “Felt in her body that she was healed.” It’s likely this was a reference to her menstruation. If this were just a matter of a wound that constantly bled she might not have been so desperate. But she was desperate, so desperate that she dared reach out to Jesus even when he wasn’t looking. But why was she desperate? Consider what her condition brought her as part of life under that ancient Jewish culture.
• Her nonstop menstrual flow would have made her ritually unclean under Jewish law, which means that,
• No one would likely touch her unless they were to become unclean also.
• She likely could not have children, which placed her in a lower class in Jewish society of the time, and as a result
• She lived in shame.
This wasn’t an issue of a simple flow of blood from a wound. This was a problem that devastated her entire life. But, when she was cleansed she was made ceremonially clean. Others, perhaps for the first time, could touch her without fear. She could have children. And most importantly, her shame was removed. Consider that what Jesus did for her, he also does for us. When we come to Christ:
• Jesus removes our impurity,
• Jesus restores us to normal, and
• Jesus removes our shame.
When you reach out to Jesus you are doing something remarkable, trusting God to forgive your sin (which he promises), to restore your relationship with God to normal (which he promises), and he removes our shame from sin (also another promise). In your desperation, do as this women did. Disregard the hopelessness you face and reach out to Jesus anyway and see what he will do.