Just one among the multitude! There are times in my life when I feel like a “no name,” just one amidst a large busy, clamoring crowd. I can feel that I have no outstanding characteristics or status that would draw God’s eye to me. I feel I am just one mixed in among the many who seek being known, who seek God’s attention.
Today, I read Mark 5:24-34, which records the account of a woman who suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years, and her condition was growing worse. Her status was low in her society; she was a woman, and she was considered an outcast because of her continuous flow of blood. Actually, she should not have even been within that crowd of people, but there she was packed into the multitude.
Words that stand out to me in this passage are: a great crowd followed Him; suffered for many years; growing worse; heard about Jesus; came up from behind Him in the crowd; touched His garment; felt the healing in her body; came before Him trembling; and He said “daughter.”
No Qualifying Status
This woman was an outcast in her community because she had the flow of blood. She had no title, position of honor or respect. She had everything that would push people away, but nothing to draw people to her.
It is an interesting contrast that the Holy Spirit records for us in this passage. Jesus was actually walking through the crowd on His way to heal the daughter of a man of status, title and reputation, that is Jairus, one of the rulers of the local synagogue. He was not only accepted in his community but also regarded with honor. He was viewed as entitled to receive the attention and help of Jesus. Notice Jairus is referred to by name, but the “bleeding woman” is not. She is a no name, just a face in the crowd.
There are moments when I am calling out to God that I think, “who am I, what do I have to bring” that merits God’s attention to me? This story gives me a right perspective on the all-encompassing love of God, and how He views the value of each one of us, of each face in the crowd.
Down Low but Seen
This woman knew she was viewed as an outcast. She may even have identified herself as that. Yet she had heard reports of Jesus, who He is and the power He has. She heard of this Son of God healing and restoring people’s lives, setting them free from their bondage. Her desperation, hope and faith moved her through the crowd to Jesus.
While she had faith, she approached Jesus with full understanding of her poverty of status and of spirit. Mark 5:27 states, “ she heard of the reports of Jesus and came up from behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment.”
What humility! What faith! This woman did not even stand face to face to plead her cause. She did not show her face so that Jesus could see her deep desire, the desperation and sadness written on her face. She did not cling to his hand and pull on Him! She approached from behind and stretched out her hand to touch His clothing! And Jesus, God in the flesh, stopped and looked for her in the crowd.
The scripture says that God/Jesus stopped! Turned around in the crowd! Asked to see and meet who touched Him (Mk. 5:30). His disciples discouraged His knowing her, but Jesus persisted.
The scripture says that “he kept looking around” to see her (Mk. 5:32). The woman was healed the moment she touched Jesus’ garment. She knew it; she trembled in awe and fear. Jesus knew it and turned to see her.
Jesus looked at her with different eyes. He did not have the censoring eyes of the religious community; He did not have the eyes of social superiority, even though He is God; He did not have the selfish apathetic eyes of the world. Jesus has the eyes of God, the eyes of welcoming love and kindness.
Jesus did not look for her status, the titles behind her name, her position in the community, her connections, the list of achievements, her outer beauty, or the togetherness of her outfit. He saw a woman of faith, a women in need of help and lifting up.
Up to this point in the story, the woman had no name, and was on the fringe of acceptance in her community; but Jesus addressed her as “daughter,” a term of endearment and belonging.
I see this incredible scene amidst the multitude, the woman trembling with joy and fear, on her knees. I see Jesus turning his body fully towards her. Jesus reaching out his hand, helping her up, looking into her eyes, while tenderly saying “daughter!”
The Same Love for You
If today, you are feeling like “just” another face in the crowd, feeling uncherished, and not valued, stop because that is a lie!
Read this passage again and see how Jesus views you. Put your self in the scene as the bleeding woman. See His love. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. You are not “just a blurred face in the crowd!” you are valued and cherished by Jesus. He sees you.
God knew we would have difficulty seeing and grasping His love. I believe that is why the Spirit recorded and preserved Paul’s prayer for the believers in Ephesians 3. This is a good prayer for us to pray for others and ourselves.
“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:18-19