encounter

When my kids were growing up, they clearly thought I knew everything. Because they asked me all. the. questions. All. the. time. One day we were out in the front yard and my daughter was bouncing up and down, “Mama…Mama…Mama!” I put her off a couple of times because I was in the middle of a conversation. But finally, I turned around and said, “Rachel! What do you want?”

She looked at me with all seriousness and said, “What does a bee’s face look like?”

Seriously. 

But you know, sometimes you just gotta ask a question. Jesus did. He asked a lot of questions. And I recently preached on three of them. So I thought I’d share those thoughts with you guys over the next three weeks.

Mark 5

Mark 5 starts out with the story of Jesus sending a legion of demons into a herd of pigs. When the people of the area were so frightened they asked him to leave, Jesus crossed over the lake and met another crowd waiting on his arrival. Also in the crowd was Jairus, a ruler in the synagogue, who had a sick daughter. He wanted Jesus to come to his house to heal the daughter.

Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him.

A large crowd followed and pressed around him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”

“You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’

But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. He said to her,“Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”

Mark 5:22-34

A last chance

So this woman comes up in the crowd and touches Jesus’ cloak. He was surrounded by a crowd and probably had his disciples all around him. She was a woman, seemingly unattached, and she had suffered a great deal. In fact, Mark tells us that she had seen many doctors and spent all her money. Jesus was her last chance.

She knew that if this didn’t work, there was nothing left to try. So she thought if she could just touch his clothes…she didn’t want to talk to him. Not even to ask for healing. She just wanted to be in his presence and touch his clothes. Perhaps she didn’t even want him to know she was there because she came up behind him.

Using the cover of the crowd, she reached out her hand and brushed his cloak. Instantly she was healed and freed from her suffering.

Who touched  me?

Jesus immediately felt that power had left him to heal her and he asked, “Who touched my clothes?” Can you imagine the fear she must have felt? Fear she would be reprimanded. That she would be made fun of. Fear that her redemption might be stripped away as quickly as it had come.

But knowing that she couldn’t escape the one who knew that she had touched his clothes in the crowd, she fell at his feet, trembling, and told her whole story. And to her relief, Jesus commended her. He didn’t condemn her. Instead he publicly commended her faith and confirmed her healing.

One encounter

This woman had one encounter with Jesus. And it changed her whole life.

The testimony is this: one encounter with Jesus can change our lives too. Because we all have areas in our lives where we need to encounter Jesus. Whether it is grief, loss, hurt, sin, or an attitude, one encounter with Jesus will impact us forever.

He wants to hear our own stories in our own words so that He can affirm and commend us too. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. He’s just waiting for that one life-changing encounter with all of us.

Hollysignature-red

 

 

 


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Holly Barrett


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