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November 19, 2019

Touching Heaven! Part 2

“As Jesus was on His way, the crowds almost crushed Him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind Him and touched the edge of His cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. ‘Who touched Me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against You.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.’ Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed. Then He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’’’ Luke 8:42-48 (NIV2011)

In addition to her physical affliction, the unnamed woman in this story was estranged from society. Her condition labeled her “unclean” in her culture. She became an “untouchable”! If anyone came in contact with her, they would be considered unclean. She lived in desperation and isolation! Imagine going twelve long years without the touch of another human being. She had tried everything and spent all her resources but only got worse. 

Doing her best to remain hidden, she pressed through the crowds to get to Jesus, with the hope that this miracle worker she had heard about may do a miracle for her. Luke tells us that she came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of His cloak. What faith! She was reaching out to touch heaven! And the Bible says that she was healed immediately!  Heaven broke through to earth! She was whole! Her life would never be the same! When heaven breaks through, our lives are changed! We are made whole! What a miracle! But this wasn’t the end of the story. There was more to the miracle that Jesus would do for her than she could have even imagined!  I love this part of the story!  

“‘Who touched Me?’ Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, ‘Master, the people are crowding and pressing against You.’ But Jesus said, ‘Someone touched Me; I know that power has gone out from Me.’” Luke 8:45-46 (NIV) Jesus was calling her out. He knew who touched Him. He was giving her the opportunity to come out of the isolation and rejection she had lived in for over twelve years. Imagine the fear she must have felt? In her culture, even though she had been healed, she was still considered unclean and it was unlawful for her to touch anyone. Hoping she may get in and out unnoticed, Jesus stops everyone to identify the one who touched Him.  Luke says, “Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed came trembling and fell at His feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched Him and how she had been instantly healed.” Luke 8:47 (NIV) 

Jesus is the great noticer! Even His disciples failed to notice the woman and the miracle in their midst. The crowd failed to notice her. They had their own agenda. They didn’t care about her, but God did! She could not go unnoticed by Christ! He saw her, just as He sees you and me today. He is the noticer! She wasn’t just a face in the crowd. She had reached out to touch heaven, and heaven touched her! Look at what Jesus says to her. “Then He said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.’” Luke 8:48 (NIV) Jesus called her “daughter!”  She wasn’t some obscure unclean, unnoticed woman. She was a daughter of the King! She may have feared being rebuked as an unclean subject for touching this miracle worker, but it was as if He intentionally called her out to say there is no one so unclean that they cannot reach out and touch Me! 

Her determination to press through the crowd that day and touch heaven paid off. Jesus not only healed her, but He restored her and connected her to the family of God. She had a new identity with dignity. She was a daughter of the most High God! 

What about you? Have you felt so unclean that you couldn’t even approach God, fearful of being noticed by Him or anyone around you? This woman’s story is a story of grace. It’s our story as well. We are all unclean, yet never so unclean that we cannot reach out and touch heaven. When you do, your life will never be the same!