Luke 8:43 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from haemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians, no one could cure her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her haemorrhage stopped. 45 Then Jesus asked, "Who touched me?" When all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you." 46 But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me." 47 When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace."
Luke uses this chapter to tell of the particular emphasis of Jesus’ ministry. It begins with Jesus ignoring a religious and cultural taboo by walking into a graveyard and speaking to a mentally distressed man. He then associates himself with a woman who suffered from what his culture considered to be the defilement of menstrual bleeding. And finally he touches a dead girl – something that would put him outside of every that is accepted by his community.
This is about Jesus exercising a preferential option for the poor. He deliberately chooses to shower compassion and kindness on those who are kicked to the curb by society. And he drags his disciples, his friends, and everyone else with him. If we want to follow Jesus, we will spend time with people in the graveyards of their lives, with people bleeding from the wounds they carry, and speaking life to people who are dying.
Last Sunday after Pentecost
56 Christ the King
The Scripture passage for the day is drawn from Reuben Job and Norman Shawchuck, A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants, (Nashville, The Upper Room 1983), 341.
This reflection is from my own devotional exercises for the day.