The Touch of Jesus (for Holy Communion)
Tony R. Nester
This Scripture is a story of two people who need Jesus. Jairus, an important man who leads a synagogue, wants Jesus to touch his daughter and heal her before she dies. The other, an unnamed woman, wants to secretly touch a piece of Jesus' clothing so that she might be healed of her chronic hemorrhaging. Both find deliverance in making contact with Jesus.
That's what the Sacrament of Holy Communion is all about: making contact with Jesus. We are here today to touch Jesus and to be touched by him.
We do it by faith as we receive the bread which represents the Body of Christ, and the juice which represents the Blood of Christ.
The woman in this story is in a desperate predicament. She has been hemorrhaging for 12 years. That means that she had become increasingly isolated from other people and cast aside by her society. She was without family, without friends, without solutions.
Chronic disease has a way of isolating us from the place we have had in the world. I doubt that any of us can understand how devastating chronic illness can be unless we've gone through it ourselves, or had a close loved one to care for who has been so afflicted.
Her sickness caused her to be afflicted with a constant flow of blood. Her bleeding was a constant drain of energy. She was always fatigued. Her life was restricted.
This woman had run out of money having spent it all on doctors who had given her no help. She was desperate, alone, isolated.
What made things even worse was that she was a woman living in a society where women had fewer rights than men and were considered of less importance, of less worth, then men. She was not just a sick person. That was bad enough. But she was a sick woman which meant that her situation would not be taken with full seriousness.
There was yet something more that made her situation especially discouraging. As a Jewish woman there was nothing worse than ...
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