Jesus…He was…different. I mean, obviously, He healed people all the time and rose from the dead. But I’m talking more about how He treated people; how He responded…He kept doing things different. Different then the religious leaders were used to. Different than the disciples would expect. We can read story after story about what someone did, and how Jesus spoke into the situation, always different than the people around him expected him to respond.
In trying to trick him, the religious leaders went out and found a woman who was having affair- like, apparently they caught them in the act and threw her in front of Jesus. “The law says to stone her,” they said. “What do you say?” That poor woman. Can you imagine how she was feeling in that very moment? Here’s Jesus’ response: “Alright…if you have never sinned, you can be the first one to throw a stone at her…” One by one people left. The Bible says that “they slipped away”. He was right and it stopped being about the law…it was about how SHE was not any different than THEM… Jesus had compassion but she was the only one left to receive it. After they all slipped away, this woman, who only moments before must have been convinced she was going to be murdered, heard Jesus say to her “I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:1-11)
When Jesus and his friends went to Martha’s house for dinner, Martha was doing all the cooking while her sister Mary was sitting with Jesus in the other room. Martha got so mad about it that she approached Jesus and said “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” For sure she thought Jesus would say- Yes, Martha. Good point. Mary, go help your sister… How embarrassing for Martha to get (gently) reprimanded instead. “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10: 38-42 )
In her book a Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans discusses the interaction Jesus had with a man who had leprosy and with a woman who had suffered for years from a chronic uterine hemorrhage, both of whom Jesus healed with a touch. Evan’s states that “there was a message behind these healings, and it sounded throughout all of Galilee, Judea, and the known parts of the world: When God became human, when he wrapped himself in our blood and skin and bones, his first order of business was to touch the ones that we would not touch, to fellowship in our sufferings, and to declare once and for all that purity is found not in the body, but in the heart.” Mark 1:41 and Mark 5:26
This woman, with the hemorrhage…some versions of the Bible title her story as “The Woman with the Issue of Blood”. What a horrid title…but what a horrid story. At that time, when a woman had her period, she was dubbed ‘unclean’ and had to separate herself from her family. This woman had to do it for twelve years…no integration with friends or family, no community…she went to doctor after doctor, spent all that she had. She was hopeless…When she heard of Jesus she thought “if only I can touch his cloak I will be healed.”(Matthew 9:21) Jesus was her only hope. So one day she pushed through the crowd and touched just the edge of his robe. And. She. Was. Healed. She knew it. So did Jesus. He stopped what he was doing and asked who touched him. Busted. The Bible says that the woman trembled with fear. Ya, I would have too. I mean He just healed her when no one else could. That’s some kind of power! But she came forward, fell at his feet and told him the truth. His response, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” Shocking. But so very Jesus. (Mark 5:25-34)
And when my own heart was bleeding out, not even a year ago, the only place left to go was to Jesus. To fall at His feet. Hopeless. Spent. At the end of me. The response He spoke to my heart? “Daughter, I love you. I am sorry you hurt. I see you. I am here.” Time and time again I fall at his feet and He speaks this to my heart.
The woman caught in adultery, Martha, the man with leprosy, the woman with the issue of blood, Anna Light…every situation different and just tremendously messy… and every time Jesus responds with kindness, compassion, healing. He has seen it all, you guys. It is self centered to think that our problems are too big for Him. It is when we go to Him, even fall at His feet, that we find Him. You don’t have to be neat and tidy. It doesn’t have to make sense to those around you. Just go. Broken to be mended. You will find fellowship in your sufferings. Just as I have.