Here’s a good one from our own, Lee Pierce. Enjoy!-anita
In the time of Christ on earth, it was common for people to believe that even to touch His clothing would manifest healing. For example, in Luke 6:19 the Bible says:
And all the multitudes were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.
So it’s not surprising that the woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years believed that, if she could just get close to Jesus and touch his garment, she would be healed (Mark 5:25-28). So, amidst the crowd around Jesus that day, she did just that and was immediately healed. “…she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction.” (Mark 5:29b)
Upon reading this story again recently, I was struck once again with a curious fact. Jesus, who clearly is God in the flesh, knew immediately that power had gone forth from Himself: “…immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth….” (Mark 5:30) What I find interesting here is in what Jesus does next. The God of all creation, who upholds the universe by the power of His hand, turns around in the crowd and says, “Who touched my garments?”
In reading this passage in the past, I guess I always thought that Jesus knew the answer all along and asked the question for effect…to maybe further test the faith of the one who had in fact touched his garment. And, indeed, the woman who was the object of His healing came forth, prostrated herself and told Jesus her story. But there may be more to this than Jesus seeking to have the woman identify herself so that He could personally interact with her (which is pretty awesome in itself, I would say!).
In researching this a bit more, I came across another point of view on this story in a recent installment of Ligonier Ministries’ Tabletalk magazine. The point posited here was that, while Christ knew that some power had left Him, He didn’t know to whom it went. As the article states, “Here we see a manifestation of the two natures of our Lord.” The Bible emphasizes in multiple places that the incarnate Christ was fully man, one who had to eat and sleep just like all of mankind. Thus, this author maintains, Christ as God both had supernatural power and had the ability to share it with His people. But He also, in staying true to His human nature, could put Himself in the situation where He couldn’t/didn’t know who had touched Him in that crowd. I find it amazing that He could functionally partition those two aspects of His person!
Then I have to ask; why would Jesus care who had been healed (Jesus was actually busy and in the process of heading to the house of Jairus to heal his daughter)? The answer probably is that Jesus wanted to address some abundant superstition: that there is supernatural healing power in His garments. We see this even today as some religious groups claim that they possess powerful relics with healing properties from Jesus’ time, such as a bit of wood supposedly from the Cross of Christ. No, Jesus seems to want to make it clear that her faith had healed her (“…your faith has made you well….” Mark 5:34). But the healing came from Him, not from the garment which possessed no power in and of itself. Thus, Jesus states, “…be healed of your affliction.” A pronouncement which confirms that she is permanently healed…because of her faith…in Him.
By: Lee Pierce