THE BOTTOM LINE
"A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse — after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well."" (Mk. 5:25-28)
Here is a woman who took a rumor, made an assumption, calculated a conclusion, and received a blessing -- something Christ called faith. Notice what this faith had to overcome: First, she possessed no health -- a worsened condition that surely would have affected her strength to press through the crowd. Second, she had no income. This isn't someone who has an HMO having a hard time paying their deductible. She was destitute. Third, she had no society. Being in a hemorrhaged condition she was a defilement to anyone she touched in the crowd (Lev. 15:19ff.). Her prospects for marriage or having children were nil. Fourth, she had no worship. Being unclean she could never travel with her family to worship in Jerusalem -- continuously barred from God’s activities. Fifth, she had no promise. Christ didn't say to the crowd, "Come unto me all you who hemorrhage." There was no guarantee that Christ would grant her what she sought. Sixth, she had little or no courage, as she secretly sought to only touch the hem of His garment. For her to stand up and say, "Have mercy on me, Jesus, for I bleed" would have exposed her illness to a potentially angry, ceremonially defiled crowd. And lastly, she had no time, as Jesus had already set out to heal Jairus' daughter (Mk. 5:21ff.).
But reach she did -- even with Jesus' back turned and His attention away. She never thought that her touch would defile Him, nor if His cloak possessed some magical powers -- both religious detriments to true faith. Christ was her only hope -- a hope that became an affirmation through her verbal confession.
Now contrast what this woman did with what Uzzah did when he reached out and steadied the ark (2 Sam. 6:6-7). Both touched the tabernacle of God (Jn. 1:14) -- and both underscore the great difference between the Old Covenant and the New. One died on the spot, the other received life. The Old says stay away; the New says, come, and I'll give you rest. The Old says, do this and live; the New says, live, now do this.
Oh, saint, why do you draw back in your weakness? You have precious and magnificent promises, you have invitation, you have access -- and now you have no excuse. So reach! You’ll find more than a handful of hem when you do.