Grace waltzed into my room as we were getting ready to go on a dinner date with friends. She plopped on the edge of my bed and declared: “Today I realized how powerful God is.”
“O, really?” I enquired. “What brought this realization?”
“Well,” she said “I was laying on the couch and feeling very down in my spirit. I did not like how I was feeling. I noticed the bottle of water we have from the Jordan River and I thought to myself: ‘Maybe if I put a drop of it on my head, God will touch me, and He will change my heart and my attitude.’ So I got up and opened the bottle and put a drop on my head- AND IMMEDIATELY I felt God touch me! I was not down in spirit anymore! My heart was totally lifted.”
I asked her later: “So Grace- what healed your low mood? Was it the water on your forehead–?”
She interrupted me before I could ask any further, saying emphatically: “NO! It was God who healed me! Jesus healed me because I believe in Him.”
Maybe there are some who would think this moment had a touch of superstition and coincidence to it. But I would argue otherwise. I know another woman who had a very similar experience.
Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.”
Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?”
But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ”
And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. (Mark 5: 25-32, NKJV)
Now when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before Him, [told him the whole truth] she declared to Him in the presence of all the people the reason she had touched Him and how she was healed immediately.
And He said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” (Luke 8: 47-48, NKJV and [Mark 5:33] )
There are some significant similarities to this encounter with Jesus and Grace’s.
Both individuals were in a state of desperation.
Both knew they could not help themselves.
Both said to themselves: “If I just…. Then …”
Both were healed immediately.
Both made a public declaration of their healing and Jesus’ power.
Both would know they were healed, not from the touch, but from their faith in Him who heals all.
Both went away in peace.
I think it is important to sit for a moment on the issue of superstition in these accounts. Was it just a superstition confirmed with coincidence? I don’t think so. In the case of the woman with the bleeding disorder, she did try to go in secret and touch Jesus. Why did she plan to sneak up to touch him and then sneak away? This woman had a bleeding disorder which in Jewish culture meant she was unclean. To be unclean in this manner would mean that she could not touch or be touched by anyone without making them unclean as well. This woman would have been a social outcast. Particularly, to touch a Rabbi and put the shame of her uncleanliness on him would be an outrage if anyone discovered it. So, she hatched a plan to “hide” her identity among the throngs of people, get just close enough to touch Jesus’ cloak, be healed and slip away.
What if Jesus had not stopped and demanded to know who touched him? Perhaps this woman would walk away healed thinking superstitiously that it was her touching Jesus’ robe that healed her. But Jesus stood there demanding for the person who touched him to name themselves. Why? With her public admission, not only was she physically healed, but all the community would know she was clean and restored. Jesus healed her social status as well as her physical health- making her completely whole. Even more significantly, however, Jesus in his infinite wisdom wanted this beautiful woman to know that it was not the act of touching him that healed her, but the FAITH that she put in motion.
I would argue Grace’s experience with Jesus’ healing her spirit was similar. She could have kept that little moment to herself. And maybe over time it might have become a superstitious experience in her mind. But she came and wholeheartedly confessed the power of God that touched her and made her whole again. This moment was more than a healing- it was a signature of her of faith in motion.
What does faith in motion look like? Do you sometimes tell yourself “I just don’t have enough faith?” or “I just can’t have that kind of faith?” But, faith in motion is not the action itself- it is not found in touching the robe of Christ or dabbing water from the Jordan River on your forehead. It is the belief behind that act- the belief in a good God who heals and who knows best how to draw your faith in Him even deeper.
In Luke 17:5-6 Jesus has an interesting exchange with his disciples:
The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it. (MSG)
The key here is that the amount of faith we have is not as important as the kind of faith we have. Do we have even a little faith in a MIGHTY GOD who can accomplish infinitely and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine? If we do, then we may send many a sycamore tree jumping into lakes! Do Jesus and I mean that literally? Not at all! The sycamore tree represents anything that is the obstacle we face. It may be a health issue as the woman with the bleeding disorder, a low and sad spirit like Grace had, a financial worry looming over us, a hard relationship we struggle with, or even a sin we struggle against. When we put our smallest faith in motion, that is our belief in Christ as the object of our faith, then He will answer us in an undeniable way.
Remember this: “There is no ‘more faith’ or “less faith.’” Your faith in motion is but to embrace Him and proclaim in praise- HOW POWERFUL GOD IS!