Summary: The posture of an unnamed woman in an innumerable crowd becomes the portrait of a worshipper who moves the heart of God.
I. Touch (If I may touch)
To see this woman you need to look low. Look down. That’s where she lives. Low to the ground. Low on the priority list. Los on the social scale. She’s low.
Can you see it? Her hand? Gnarled. Thin. Diseased. Dirt blackens the nails and stains the skin. Look carefully amid the knees and feet of the crowd. They’re scampering after Christ.
People are buming…But she’s not stopping.
Other’s are complaining…she’s not caring – she’s crawling after the God-man.
Why? This woman is desperate!
• Worship calls out in desparation to the point that it moves every external trapping out of the way and runs after God with a singleness of purpose.
Psalm 27:3 – “One thing I have desired of the Lord” – singleness of purpose
Philippians 3 – “This one things I do” – singleness of purpose
Matthew 6:33 – “Seek ye first the kingdom of God” – singleness of purpose
Psalm 42:1 – “As the deer pants for the water…” – singleness of purpose
D.L. Moody says that ‘it is better to say this one thing I do than these 40 things I dabble with”. You may get a myriad of other things wrong, but you need to get worship right.
Because until worship is right it ceases to be worship – it is only a mundane act of pomp and circumstance. But it isn’t worship! Illustration – those who say ‘true worship’. That may not be an accurate statement. If it ain’t ‘true’ then it is not worship.
Verse 25 tells us that this woman has had a hemorrhage for twelve years.
Twelve years of treatments. Herbs. Prayer meetings. Incantations.
Verse 26 reveals every source with which she depended upon failed her.
Now…no health. No money. And no family help. Unclean, according to the law of Moses in Leviticus. In this woman’s case severe application to the Law left her no untouched, but untouchable, ceremonially unclean. The hand you see in the crowd? The one reaching for the robe? NO ONE will touch that hand.
This woman is desperate: This woman’s desperation births an idea.
Verse 27 – she heard that about Jesus.
Romans 10: Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. (faith)
She says, if I may touch but his clothing, cloak, hem of His garment – I will be healed. At the right time, she scurries through the crowd. Knees bum her ribs. “Move out the way”, someone shouts. She doesn’t care and does not stop. Twelve years on the streets have toughened her anyway.
• Worship doesn’t mind inconvenience.
• Worship will break tradition – tradition says you are not allowed in the crowd.
To worship God is to recognize his worth or worthiness; to look God-ward, and to acknowledge in all appropriate ways the value of what we see. The Bible calls this activity "glorifying God" or "giving glory to God," and views it as the ultimate end, and from one point of view, the whole duty of man (Ps. 29:2; 96:6; 1 Cor. 10:31).
Scripture views the glorifying of God as a sixfold activity: praising God for all that he is and all his achievements; thanking him for his gifts and his goodness to us; asking him to meet our own and others’ needs; offering him our gifts, our service, and ourselves; learning of him from his word, read and preached, and obeying his voice; telling others of his worth, both by public confession and testimony to what he has done for us. Thus we might say that the basic formulas of worship are these: "Lord, you are wonderful"; "Thank you, Lord"; "Please Lord"; "Take this, Lord"; "Yes, Lord"; "Listen everybody!"
This then is worship in its largest sense: petition as well as praise, preaching as well as prayer, hearing as well as speaking, actions as well as words, obeying as well as offering, loving people as well as loving God. However, the primary acts of worship are those which focus on God directly -- and we must not imagine that work for God in the world is a substitute for direct fellowship with him in praise and prayer and devotion.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, July 1986, P. 15.
Jesus asks, “who touched me?” This was not a normal Sunday morning touch.
Worship has a tendency to change and re-arrange God’s schedule.
• He’s got an appointment with Jairus, to meet the need of Jairus’ daughter. But in the crowd there is this unknown, nameless, anonymous woman (we don’t even know her name) but her need is great.
¬ It reminds and/or informs us that God is moved and motivated by worship that moves one’s heart simply on the prompting of faith.