Touching the Hem of His Garment:
As I did my homework in a new Bible Study I am leading right now (Breaking Free, The Journey, The Stories, by Beth Moore…the updated version of the original Breaking Free)…..I was so struck by something she said in the week 2 video.
Beth was talking about the woman in Luke 8:40-48; Matthew 9:18-26; and Mark 5:21-43. She gave us a visual about Jesus walking through the crowd of people and how He would have been walking and weaving through the crowd. She teaches that in Luke, the word for ‘edge’ translates as ‘tassels’, the kind the Israelites wore on the 4 corners of their garments.
When I envisioned this verse in the past, I pictured the woman having to get down to the ground in the midst of a thick crowd to touch the hem, meaning the bottom of his tunic that would be at ground level. I don’t know why I conjured it up that way, other than artwork I have seen so many times that pictures this woman nearly laying on the ground and striving to reach forward from behind Him as he nearly got away from her grasp. This is an inaccurate picture!! This is huge for me, and here’s why:
In picturing it the way I just described, it seems to indicate a need to strive and work hard to reach out for help from Jesus. That He may be just brushing by, and I’d better try to grab on while I have the chance, before He passes me by. He said her faith had healed her…but picturing her working hard at grabbing his tassels would then also mean she was working hard at having faith to believe she could be healed just by touching His garment.
There’s a problem here – do you see it??
Picture it this way instead. This woman believed that Jesus had divine power to heal her. She was right there in that crowd, where He was completely accessible to her! She did not have to strive and crawl on the ground to touch Him ….. He was right there within her reach and all she had to do was reach forward and grab that tassel. No striving, no mustering up the faith to believe. He was right there, and she grabbed on!
Isn’t that the way it is for us, too?? We do not have to work hard to find Him. He is right here. He is completely accessible for our healing. Even in a crowd, we do not have to compete for His healing. He avails Himself to all of us. No amount of mustering it up will give us ‘more faith’. We choose to believe even if we don’t feel it. The woman was not healed because of something SHE did. She was healed because Jesus is our healer, and she had put her faith and trust in Him. That is where our healing is, too. Grab on!