“Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. 41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader,came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years,[c] but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Luke 8.40-48
The Walk to Emmaus, a spiritual retreat within the United Methodist Church, talks about this passage as a “miracle on the way to a miracle.”
You know the story well. Jesus is met by Jairus, a synagogue leader, whose twelve year old daughter was sick and dying. He falls at Jesus’ feet “pleading with him to come to his house.” As Jesus was starting to go, the crowds were so large they “almost crushed him.”
These were not just a few people bumping into Jesus like they might when you exit church, or at a crowded football game (pre covid!). These were suffocating crowds like you might find in Times Square in New Year City or on New Years Day. Hundreds if not thousands of people trying to move as one but restricting the moment of anyone freely. The people were as packed as tightly as can of sardines, as the saying goes.
And in the midst of the overwhelming crowding, pushing, yelling, shouting, screaming, demanding, there was Jesus, surrounded by his protectors like the Secret Service protecting the President. And although there were bodies on every side, a woman touched Jesus and power went out from him.
Now I wonder what that is like? Jesus, full of power and the Holy Spirit, the miracle came out of him with out his doing. It was drawn from him as an arrow drawn from a quiver, as a wallet from a pick pocket on the Chicago subway. The power to heal was brought forth from him without his doing but with his knowledge.
When Jesus spoke of it his disciples said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” But then a woman, who had been bleeding for twelve years (both the sick girl and the woman are mentioned with the number twelve) came forward trembling, falling at this feet, and told Jesus her story. Jesus replies, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”
Many things come to mind in this story, but the one of unintended power going forth from Jesus strikes me as fascinating. It’s almost as if we can access God’s power today through prayer. That as we believe, the power of Jesus is available to all who have faith.
People way more in tune with the Spirit than me could attest to this truth in Matthew 6 — “ask and it will be given unto you, seek and you will find.” The ability to draw forth from God a miracle, a healing, a hope is within each of us and in those who will believe.
What is it you are needing of the Lord? Why kind of miracle do you desire from him this moment? Will you be like the woman who touched his garment, reaching out in faith, and believing in his power to heal? Why not call out to God?
“O Lord God, I want that kind of faith. I want to know the power the Resurrection to raise people from the dead. I want to experience healing of mind, body and soul. I know the strength of your words and the power of your touch. Come now, Holy Father, fill me with all goodness. Help me turn from evil and seek the Cross. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen