Friday 11 May 2012

Bible Book:

"She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes." (v. 44)

Luke 8:40-56 Friday 11 May 2012


This is one of my favourite Bible stories: not the main storyabout Jairus and his daughter, but the verses about the anonymouswoman with the haemorrhage (verses 43-48).

In Jewish culture anyone with bleeding - be it spots or sores,menstrual or illness - was perceived as unclean, and henceuntouchable, for as long as the bleeding persisted.

Being labelled unclean they were excluded from day-to-day societyand from any religious ceremonies, celebrations or worship.

This nameless woman had been a 'prisoner in her own home' for some12 years - unable to mix with others in day-to-day living, or evenvisit or receive visitors. Because to touch or to be touched by herwould make others unclean too.

Her courage in venturing into the crowd surrounding Jesus in orderto seek her healing is remarkable. At any point she could have been'outed' by a local who recognised her and, of course, her touchwould have made Jesus, himself, unclean.

But, her priority was to be healed as healing would bring not justphysical wellbeing but also a restoration to community, society,religious life and worship.

One small touch - one huge difference to a life.

To Ponder

  • Who are those within your own community or society that we deemto be 'unclean' or unsuitable for acceptance into our commonlife?
  • Would we rather see them rejected out of hand, their storiesunknown, or restored in order that they can play their part in theworld?
  • How can each one of us bring about restoration rather thanrejection?

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