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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


The Touch and the Frustration

At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” (Mark 5:30,31, NIV)

Clearly the disciples are exasperated with Jesus.

Look at the scenario they have been through within the preceding 24 hours:

• Dealing with the crowd who listened to His parables (4:1,36).

• Battling a night storm on the lake while Jesus slept (4:37,38).

• Landing off-course at the shore of Gerasa rather than at their home in Bethsaida (5:1, compare with 6:45).

• Witnessing an encounter with the demoniac and spending a good part of the day while a crowd gathered to see what happened and asked Jesus to leave — all of which took place after a sleepless night on the storm waters (5:2-20).

• Returning to the northwest side of the lake and immediately dealing with a crowd again, precluding retreat and rest (5:21).

• Changing itinerary again when Jesus is diverted by Jairus’ request to come and heal his dying daughter (5:22,23).

Now a woman sneaks up on Jesus, and they had not even been aware of her. They have no clue that she had touched Jesus and had ritually defiled them in the process. No power had gone out from them, for they were at that point powerless.

They were exhausted. No sleep. No decent warm food. No bathroom accommodations. No chance to wash up. They really want to get away from it all for a while, have a sumptuous meal and catch some sleep. And they are frustrated with Jesus — even more so than when they accusatorily awakened Him when their boat was sinking (4:38). Now they’re downright snapping at Jesus: “And yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”

The lesson? When you are tired, hungry and frustrated, you get cranky and you don’t see things rightly. Clearly the disciples are ticked at Jesus. “Who touched me?” Everyone, Jesus, everyone! they thought. How could You ask such a stupid question?

We’re a lot like Jesus’ original followers. We too get upset with His agenda. He often takes us where we don’t want to go, keeps us where we don’t want to stay, and sometimes in our pain and exhaustion we become oblivious to the needs of others. So we snap at Him or anyone else for inconveniencing us.

But Jesus asked the question, “Who touched me?” because He knew something had happened. This is the first involuntary miracle of Jesus — it happens not with His face toward the person, but with Him not even being aware of the individual’s approach, with His back turned.

The woman’s faith had literally vacuumed the power out of Him, like a dry sponge soaking up water.

So, what group do you belong to?

The woman who approaches Jesus with faith, or the disciples who complain because things are not going the way they want or expect?

If you follow Jesus for any length of time, His actions or inactions will at times baffle You. You just can’t figure out why He is doing what He’s doing, or allowing to happen what’s going on.

You don’t have to figure Him out. Keep touching Him rather than griping about where He’s taking you. Relax. He knows what He’s doing.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, things will go out from me today — time, energy, emotion, anxiety, concern. But You want power to go out from me — the power to love, encourage, help and praise. Teach me Your way so that as I touch others they may be strengthened rather than withered.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.

On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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