Reach for the Cloak

Matthew 9:20-22
Then suddenly a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his cloak, for she said to herself, ‘If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.’ Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, ‘Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well.’ And instantly the woman was made well.
What does it mean to have the faith of this woman? “If I only touch his cloak, I will be made well.” This woman was in so much pain physically and emotionally, that she tried the unimaginable to reach for hope. She reached for Jesus, in the wake of those who shunned her. How strong is she? You must be strong and faithful to be able to share your fear and fight in front of everyone who has ignored you.
I can imagine that as she was shunned by all these people, she may have shunned herself. Wouldn’t you? If people were ignoring you just because you were different and considered you “unclean”, how would you feel? Maybe you have felt that way. I know I have. What is remarkable is that the woman broke through the barriers. She broke through the barriers of a community that did reaching-for-jesusnothing to help her. She broke through her own barriers of pain and weakness with an inner strength that gave her just enough faith to reach for His cloak. Can you picture the scene? A shunned woman is shaking, falling to her knees because she is too weak to stand, desperate for somebody to reach out to her, knowing that they won’t…this woman, reaches out for the very thread of hope and relied only on her faith to make it happen. When there is nothing else around to hold you up, faith may be all you have.
And what does Jesus do? How does Jesus respond? In front of what I can imagine to be a stunned and silent crowd, Jesus calls her daughter and shares with her the very emotion that means so much to all who crave it, especially when nobody else seems to be providing it – unconditional love, and she gets it from the only One that who gives it without restriction.
When you are weak…when you don’t feel like you are strong enough to break through the barriers – whether they were made by someone else, or you built them yourself, go to that place inside. Go to the place that is beyond our understanding and find the strength to stretch out with all your might and reach for His cloak. Give Jesus the chance to pick you up, hold you tight, and call you daughter.

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