The crowds lined the streets. Everyone wanted to see this miracle worker who also spoke words that implied he had an intimate relationship with God. One of the people caught up in the swarming crowd was a woman. The event is recorded in Mark 5. This woman though, didn’t want to get close to Jesus, she wanted to touch him.
She does. And the second that happens, two things take place: she feels healing take place in her body and Jesus immediately stops and asks, “Who touched me?”
The disciples are confused. “Who touched you?” they say. “You’re being pressed in on all sides. It’s a madhouse! Everybody’s bumping to you!”
“No,” Jesus says, “Somebody TOUCHED me.”
The disciples don’t understand Jesus’ emphasis on “touched.”
The woman falls down before Jesus. She admits she is the one who reached out and touched his cloak. Quickly she explains why she did it; she has been suffering for many year from an affliction. Jesus says to her, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.”
There is a difference between knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus. There is a difference between bumping into Jesus and touching him.
How often has someone asked you, if you knew a person and you replied, “I know ‘of’ him.” Or, “I’ve met her a couple of times.” That is an acknowledgment that we know a little bit about the person, but we would never say that we really knew them.
The journey with Christ isn’t one where we are asked to know things “about” God, but rather that in our lives we develop a deep and intimate relationship with the Lord.
I remember the words of a very elderly Christian who was once asked by a man who was challenging his belief in Jesus as the Messiah. The man asked the Christian, “What would happen if we found the grave of Jesus and his body was still in there? Would you then stop believing in him as the Messiah and a God?” The wrinkled faced Christian broke out into a broad smile and said, “No, I know him far too well now to let something like that affect our relationship.”
I think a lot of people (both inside and outside the church) know things about Jesus, but I’m not sure how many really know the Messiah as an intimate companion with them on their life journey. I wish that for all of you. But know that any relationship takes time. Intimacy isn’t developed in a moment, it takes place by being together over the course of a long period of time. So, start journeying today. Go to places there you feel close to God. Read one of the Gospels which is really a love letter from Jesus to you. Start talking daily with God in prayer. Stay close to your community of faith.
Over time this relationship will grow to the point where you will be united with the Lord in ways that leave you beaming for joy, just like that elderly saint mentioned earlier.
~ God bless, Dan