Sermons have been preached, lessons written and theological arguments expounded about the woman with “the issue of blood” (Mark 5:25-34; Luke 8:43-48). What was the problem? What made Jesus know that “virtue had gone out of Him”? What did that mean? What was different about her touch versus the touch of the throng that pressed against Him? She did not even touch Him, but only the hem of His robe. So, what stopped Jesus in His tracks? When all the debating of these questions is over, all that is left is a desperate woman, with a grave need, destitute of resources, without hope. The years of affliction, constantly seeking help, left her with nowhere to go but to Jesus.

She did not have a high self-esteem. She didn’t want to touch His sleeve. She didn’t expect to be embraced by Him. Her lowly goal was to touch the hem of His garment, the dusty, ragged edge that brushed the tops of His shoes. Her confidence was not great. She did not say, “when” but only “if” I can but touch the hem. She did not approach from the front but “came in the press behind.” The woman was tenacious. She had subjected herself to numerous treatments by many physicians for twelve years. The crowd between her and Jesus was another obstacle, like her years of fruitless efforts, to obtain healing.

When her hand touched His hem, she felt instant healing. Seeing that Jesus was seeking the one who had touched Him, she fell at His feet and confessed the truth of her healing. Jesus said it was her faith that made her whole. No obstacles, lack of resources, or personal finances kept her from exercising her faith. Just faith in a God who put on sandals and walked dusty paths. Faith in a saving, miracle-working God spurred her to reach out and touch a worn, dusty hem and receive her miracle.

Does low self-esteem, lack of confidence and overwhelming obstacles keep us from praying for our miracle, our salvation, our deliverance? As we kneel in supplication, do we speak lofty prayers to reach heaven when the very presence of Jesus Christ is near us in the lowly, dusty lives we live?

Our faith can break barriers. It can overcome any lack we have because there is no lack in Him.

Luke 6:19 says the “whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.” The touching, the virtue, and the healing is for us all. Reach out to Him through your insufficiencies. Your faith will touch His “dusty hem.”



Note: Pamela Smoak and her husband, Richard, have been missionaries for thirty-three years to the East African countries of Tanzania and Burundi. Her missions passions are Bible school training and literature translation into Swahili.
Reprinted with permission from Ladies Prayer International.

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