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Feeling the Touch

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Let's look at the 5th chapter of the book of Mark.  Jesus crosses the lake to the region of the Gerasenes, deals with a man that has an evil spirit, deals with civil unrest (people came and pleaded with him to leave their land), ministers to the former demon possessed man (since the man wants to go with Jesus instead of staying and being a witness), goes back across the lake, again, and is immediately confronted with a large crowd of people wanting miracles, is then called upon by one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, who's daughter is dying.  Jesus follows Jairus to his home to heal the girl, has to work His way through a throng of people that are pressing in on Him (sounds like the papparazzi) and, in the midst of the press a woman touched His cloths. And, He feels the touch! 

It says in Mark 5:29-30 (NIV), "Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.  At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him.  He turned around in the crowd and asked, 'Who touched my clothes?'"

We, as followers of Christ and called to be imitators of Him, are called to live in two worlds.  We are called to live in the world of "the press" and we are called to live in the world of "the touch".  There is always a "dynamic", a tension, between these two worlds in which we walk.  The demands of family, vocation, and ministry are constant.  They truly do seem to daily press in on us.

We are inundated with voice mails, e-mails, snail mails, faxes, meetings, and crises.  We are called to "put out fires", "cast out demons", and "walk on water".  The press defines us in their own terms; who we are, what we'll do, how we should act.  And, it is to the press that we spend much of our time.  Jesus prayed in John 17:15 (NIV), "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one." 

We are not called away from the press but we are called to feel the touch in the midst of the press.  In Mark 5:34 (NIV) Jesus said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace and be freed from your suffering."  In the middle of it all we must be ready to respond to the touch.  A heart's cry, a troubled mind, a bleeding life.  All around us is the press but all around, also, are those that are saying "If I can but touch the hem of His garment".

It would be much easier to walk only in the world of the touch, but that is not to be.  The human response, then, is to become callused, to falsely use Christ's words and say, "The poor will always be with us", and choose the press, exclusively.

But neither response is correct.  We can not choose one over the other.  Notice the remainder of Mark, chapter five. In Mark 5:35 (NIV) it says, "While Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the teacher any more?" 

As with Christ, so it is to be with us.  It says that while He was speaking.  He could not even finish without being interrupted. If the press will interrupt Christ they will certainly interrupt us during our special moments of ministry.

But look what it says in Mark 5:36 (NIV): "Ignoring what they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, 'Don't be afraid; just believe.'"  We will always, in this life, have to contend with the press but we are not to be ruled by the press.  We do not give an account to them.  We give an account to Christ for what we have done with the time, talents, and treasures that He has given us for His service.

Always, always, always, we must choose faith over fear, trust over trials, peace over the press.  Amen!

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This site was last updated 01/12/05