For her, this chance was her last gasp, her last fragment of hope to be healed and restored from the wasting sickness that had aged her, made her pale, given her dark circles under her eyes, stolen her strength, stolen her energy, stolen her hope. But would she dare?
The oppression her culture imposed upon her because of her condition made everything harder. She had tried to find help, wasted all her resources on “cures” that didn’t. Everywhere she went she had to call out, “I am unclean! Step aside or be defiled by my touch.” She wasn’t even supposed to be in public except for an emergency situation. As she gave her warning, people turned around, wide-eyed and then condemnation filled their faces, as if it were her fault. The most religious wouldn’t even look at her. Well this WAS an emergency! It was her last gasp for life before she gave up, shriveled up and gave in to death.
Then she saw him, the Rabbi, Yeshua. Well, at least she saw and heard the cluster of activity and people surrounding him, moving slowly along with him. From houses, from market booths, from begging mats, even from the aristocracy, people called out to Him, “Yeshua!”
“Son of David!”
She could see people straining to reach Him, straining to touch Him, just a touch, just a look, just a word! They were starving for Him and all He had for them. He was surrounded.
Yet with a kind smile in His eyes, he kept moving, talking, healing, bestowing love on people as He went along. His disciples tried to create some room for Him to move, giving him some distance from the pressing crowd. To do what she must, would cost her the last shred of dignity she still possessed.
As a good Hebrew man, Yeshua wore his tallit, his prayer shawl, with the fringes on the corners. Culturally it is a garment made for intimacy with God. As a man prays, he entwines his fingers in the fringes of the shawl, as he does his wife’s own hand; the reminder of the Word of God and how close, how much a part of his heart it is to be. In the culture of the day, only a man’s wife or children could touch this intimate place on his shawl. For a strange woman to touch it would be treated as adultery.
She could see the colors of His tallit from a distance, and she knew this place of intimacy with the one who sent Him was the key to her healing. Her heart was bursting with this sudden chance. “If I can just touch the fringe of his tallit I will be healed.”
In a burst of adrenaline she rushed the crowd on one side of Him, using the brief shutter of repulsion and the opening made as she shouted out, “Unclean!” one last time, and lunged to reach her arm and then her fingers through as she grasped the intimate fringe of His tallit.
Immediately and finally she felt energy and strength rush through her body. Color rose in her cheeks as spontaneous recognition of hope fulfilled flooded her heart. Color began to drain away again as she realized she might be healed but now in serious trouble; so she began to dart away to hide.
“Who touched me?” she heard the Rabbi ask? His disciples were confused. “What can you mean? Everyone is touching you Yeshua.” “No. Somebody touched me and power has flowed out of me.” When the woman realized that she could not stay hidden, she began to tremble and fell to her knees in front of him. The whole crowd heard her explain why she had touched him and that she had been immediately healed.48 “Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has made you well. Go in peace. (Luke 8:47-48 NLT)
“What?” Her eyes popped open. Did he just say that? her mind raced as she realized no one was going to stone her to death. Look, His eyes are full of love and peace and He’s looking at me! He called me daughter! As His daughter I am permitted this intimacy. As one who is intimate with him I have broken no law, I cannot be punished, no law will judge me, I am free! I am clean! I am healed! I am restored! I am His!
Amen! This is what we have been granted in the new covenant. As partakers of the Body and Blood of the King, we are permitted every intimacy with Him. Our fingers are entwined in His prayer shawl, entwined in His own fingers. When we take His body into ours we become one flesh with Him. From this intimate place we are permitted to know the thoughts of our King and He shares them with us. We are permitted to know His heart’s intention that, when spoken, transforms.
In the physical, it is a common thing for people who have received an organ from another person to have memories from that person’s life. When we partake of our Father’s blood in the blood of Jesus, I believe we are also given access to His memories, His thoughts toward us, the plans He made for us from before the foundation of the world.
As I sit with Him in the intimacy of communion, fully receiving from Him, I am permitted to know the works He has prepared in advance for me to do. I am given the blueprints, the strategies. I am permitted to receive all of Him into all of me. I am daughter, I am friend, I am bride. I am His.
Based on Luke 8:43-48