It’s easy to understand how Jesus stirred up such a commotion when people saw what He could do. I sometimes picture something similar to the “Bring out your dead” scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (with the opposite end result, of course).
Okay… all joking aside, there was one case of a woman who had been bleeding for twelve years when Jesus finally arrived. I’ll go ahead and just admit that if I had so much as a minor earache for twelve years, I’d be begging that guy to put me out of my misery many Thursdays before Jesus came around. You’ve got to see the video to understand that one.
Based on all of the details between Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s gospels, this woman was more than miserable. She was alone, desperate, and completely broke from giving all of her money to quack physicians who only made her condition worse. She was very likely single, maybe even abandoned, on account of her bleeding. Rejection, embarrassment, and hopelessness were part of this woman’s everyday life for probably as long as she could remember.
So imagine the excitement she must’ve felt when she heard about Jesus! Finally, her prayers were being answered! She would go to Jesus and He would lay His hands on her just like He had been doing with everyone else, and she would be healed.
But now here’s where it gets interesting… and why I’m writing about this as my first article for Running to the Son:
When this woman finally found Jesus, and even at the moment when she was healed by Him, Jesus was walking away from her. That’s not the way I’ve envisioned Jesus interacting with me if I needed Him. The woman in this story had likely already seen many other important people walk out on her, meaning it would have been incredibly easy to focus on the sting of rejection yet again, and to just give up. How perfect of an opportunity Satan had to drive this woman even deeper into misery, feeling forgotten and hopeless because she couldn’t get Jesus’ attention when she needed it most.
But that’s thankfully not how the story ends. The woman seemed to know in her heart that this guy named Jesus was something special. Even though the crowd around her still held this expectation, she didn’t need Jesus to stop, turn, and physically lay His hands on her or speak directly to her to take her pain away. It wasn’t how He touched or interacted with her that would bring her healing. It was simply who He was. To her, Jesus simply being Jesus was enough. She only needed to run after Him… to just be close to Him.
This is a powerful, transformational lesson for me. I think I’ve held more of the crowd’s perspective, subconsciously holding the expectation that Jesus always needed to give me His undivided attention in order to change my life and bring me freedom. But I think that expectation does nothing but limit God’s power in my life. Could I take a number and wait around for that one-on-one interaction? Sure. But Jesus doesn’t have to stand at my bedside to do the impossible and raise me from the dead. Just ask the Centurion in Matthew 8.
So what about you? How are you limiting God’s power with your expectations of how He is supposed to work? In what ways is your faith similar to the crowd’s, waiting on God to answer your prayer only in a very specific, direct way? What would happen if we dropped that expectation and just ran after Him? Something tells me we’d be happy with the result.