Simplicity marked that
woman. Her knowledge of theology was probably scant, but one thing
showed in her like a light: faith.
When she saw people
crowding about Jesus, she pushed her way through them to get to
Him. For she had said, "If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed"
(Matthew 9:21, NIV).
She did not ask for
great revelations from heaven. In fact, she did not invoke the
whole power of the Almighty nor ask that God's Son give all His
attention to her case. If only she could touch His cloak, that
would be enough.
One feels the force
of that word touch. God, to the woman's mind, was accessible
at a low point as well as at a high.
Here her simple theology
is remarkable and is supported by Scripture. God is not residing
in far infinitudes beyond human reach. He is nearer than we understand,
capable of being "touched with the feelings of our infirmities."
He bears no resemblance to the untouchable gods of time.
What if His "judgments
are unsearchable, and his ways past finding out"? What if a thousand
questions about Him remain unanswered? We do not need to altogether
understand Him to accept Him. His universes may be too much for
us; but He who made them made also the sand that lies warm in
The sick woman in this
story did not get even a handful of Jesus' cloak. She only touched
the edge of it. But the contact threw a switch which brought God's
power to make her whole.
In our quest for God
we may overstep ourselves. We may ask for too much! "A leaf quivers
in the sun," said the poet, "and I remember my Maker." We do not
have to have the grand entrance. Just to touch Him, however quietly,
is something "out of this world."
The woman did not ask
even to touch Jesus. "If I only touch his cloak!" she cried.
A rose blown in the
wind could turn us toward God. A sunset could bring us to His
altar. A sword of grass could stab our heart with conviction of
"But I am not satisfied
with merely touching the hem of Christ's garment, " a man complained.
"I want to put my head on His heart, like John."
But John didn't begin
with Jesus that way! Touching the hem of His garment is a place
Some seem scarcely
to get beyond that. But we should not berate them. Perhaps they
are limited in their capacity to comprehend Him. Yet their limitations
do not diminish His understanding of them nor lessen His love
for them. "Take heart, daughter," He said, "and the woman was
healed from that moment" (Matthew 9:22, NIV).
There seem to be times
when Jesus would direct our faith downward rather than upward.
"You believe in God," He said, "believe also in me." Believe in
the Servant walking in scuffed sandals, hooted at by the mob,
spiked to a cross. He who makes systems of burning suns can sit
down by a woman at a well and ask for a drink of water. Touch
Him where you can!
"I was driving by a
country church," a man testified, "overburdened with grief and
guilt, when I heard a choir singing an old hymn. They were very
ordinary singers, but I did not need to hear an angelic symphony!
The singing from that untrained choir touched my heart, for God
was in it; and I went home to Him."
The woman in our story,
burdened with illness, had touched many people in her quest for
relief; and nothing had happened. But when her fingers brushed
the edge of Jesus' robe, her sickness fled. Just a touch on the
edge of a cloak and the energy of the Almighty was tapped.
Let no man look lightely
on such a Gospel as this! You do not have to be a mighty theologian
or know all the intricacies of the Word. Put forth your faith.
Begin with a touch and who knows what wonders lie beyond
that? Touching the edge of His garment can be the beginning of
an eternal adventure.