This week, you are invited to spend time reflecting on Jesus’ attentiveness to a woman who had carried a great burden for a long time. Jan Johnson’s Meeting God in Scripture is the source for much of what follows.
Monday – Mark 5.24-26. This woman suffered from a condition that resulted in her being shunned for twelve years. She would not have been able to go to the synagogue or the market. She would not have been able to embrace her family. She had many reasons to be desperate. She had visited many doctors, spending all she had on medical care, and had gotten worse instead of better. When have you felt desperate about a condition or situation? Today, think of a person who seems desperate for wholeness and pray for them.
Tuesday – Mark 5.27-29. Perhaps the woman debated within herself whether she should approach Jesus. She may have thought about the fact that skin contact with Jesus would have caused Him to be ceremonially unclean. She may have reasoned that by touching only His clothes she wasn’t putting him at risk, or that even if she did, at least He wouldn’t know it. Her situation, condition, and circumstances led her to reach out to Jesus, literally and figuratively. Under what conditions do you find yourself reaching out to Jesus, seeking restoration and wholeness in some aspect of your life?
Wednesday – Mark 5.30-31. Even in the press of the crowd, Jesus recognized that there was one who had touched Him for a special reason. Why do you suppose it mattered to Jesus to connect with this mystery person? Jesus did not who touched Him in trusting faith. But, He wanted to meet that person face to face. He knew that it was important for that person to present herself or himself to Jesus. What she had hoped would be an anonymous touch was becoming a personal and public encounter with the One who healed her without her asking.
Thursday – Mark 5.32-33. Notice that the woman’s encounter with Jesus involved “telling Him the whole truth.” In addition to acknowledging that she was the one who had touched His clothing in hopes of being healed, the whole truth of her story could have included her medical history, her feelings of being looked down upon as unclean, and the social and emotional impact of her suffering. You may wish to tell God your “whole truth” about something. Remember that He listens attentively when we speak.
Friday – Matthew 5.33-34. “From the moment Jesus was face to face with the woman, there seems to be nobody there but Him and her. It happened in the middle of the crowd, but the crowd was forgotten, and Jesus spoke to the woman personally and treated her as if she was the only one in the world. (William Barclay, The Gospel of Mark) If you wish, put yourself in the woman’s place and see yourself standing or sitting face to face with Jesus. He is listening to you tell your “whole truth.” This picture in your mind reflects the reality of God attentively listening to your prayers. Spend some moments talking with Jesus as though it is a face-to-face conversation. He is present and attentive.
Saturday – Mark 5.34. After her healing, she was free to mix in public and return to public worship in the synagogue. Jesus complimented her faith publically. The crowd would have noticed that Jesus used the term “Daughter”, which was a term of endearment. Look for someone in your life who needs to be heard. In the moment you sense this, ask God to give you a sense of presence that pays careful attention to that person. Consider this is exactly what Jesus is like.
Posted on Sun, November 19, 2017
by Cheryl Sherrick