28 June 2015Mark 5:21-43
“Immediately aware that power has gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes?’ And his disciples said to him, ‘You see the crowd pressing in on you: how can you say, “Who touched me?”’ He looked all around to see who had done it. But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well: go in peace and be healed of your disease.’” (vv. 30-34)
Psalm: Psalm 30
Jesus was someone who was a people person and he went to where people were, where they gathered and dealt with issues that mattered to people. He didn't take offence when people asked him for help. He stopped and listened, he healed people and answered all manner of questions. He was always aware of those around him and their needs.
In this passage, many had gathered and pressed in to Jesus, but only one person was healed. Jesus would have been hassled - it was a massive crowd pressing in on all sides. Even the disciples were clearly feeling hassled by the crowd. But Jesus stops. A potentially dangerous move, but for Jesus it was important to find this person. The disciples warn him, dismiss his comments and are try to help him continue along. But Jesus ignores them and looks for someone in the crowd, a large crowd. But he looks and the woman knows he is looking for her so comes forward. He didn't tell her off. He didn't ask why she did it. He simply said that was her action that healed her. He simply told her what she did was ok.
In amongst the mess of a crowd, in a place where people press in on all sides, where the fight for personal space is lost and surrendered, are we looking for those who need our attention? For the person who everyone else has given up on, who is looking in desperation for a solution, or for hope where others have given up? Are we looking? Are we paying attention to the passing comment that calls us to listen, to look and to follow up?
Sometimes it is a passing comment. Sometimes it is that slightly odd question. It may be visible like a person crying on the train as she discovers a friend has died, or the homeless holding out a hand. Are we aware of when someone needs us to stop for a moment and ignore the bustle? To stop and listen, to be present with them, even if only to let them know it is ok.
- Where else do we find Jesus ignoring the crowds to focus on someone? What can we learn from these times?
- Do you ever feel that niggling feeling that someone needs more of your time? How do you respond?
- In what ways do we seek out Jesus when we are desperate and lacking hope? And how might we realise when he is looking for us in the crowd?