Hiding in the crowd?

“A woman in the crowd had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding …could find no cure. Coming up behind Jesus, she touched the fringe of his robe. Immediately, the bleeding stopped. “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. Everyone denied it, and Peter said, “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.” But Jesus said, “Someone deliberately touched me, for I felt healing power go out from me.” (Luke 8v43-46)

Okay, as tenuous as the link from this passage to the image might seem, try and imagine it as Jesus, Peter and the crowd seen from above. Imagine the coloured tiles as people in an area so crowded that they can barely take breath let alone move. Suddenly, Jesus surprises everyone with the declaration that  someone touched him. (Read all of the passage here.)

I love Peter’s response to Jesus. It’s so honest in its appeal to reason: “Master, this whole crowd is pressing up against you.”  In other words: ‘Master- let it go- we’re not going to find the person!” But Jesus is not easily diverted and soon the woman with the issue of bleeding comes forward to confess that as she touched him, she was instantly healed.

However, Jesus is not done with her yet. Although the woman had received physical healing  she is still an outcast in terms of the community (due of the nature of her illness that involved blood). For her to be socially restored with others, her disguise needs to be removed so that they can see who Jesus is declaring as fit and restored. What a relief for the woman: she no longer has to hide away and suffer for fear that the comminity will continue to reject and judge her long after she has been forgiven by Jesus.


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