I recently had the privilege of going on a missions trip to Belize with SALT and about a dozen other adults from the Sanctuary. We served, we laughed, and everyone grew from the experience.
When I got back I felt like I had a week’s worth of stuff to catch up on: phone calls, emails, texts, family time, and the list goes on. One of the things I kept hearing about was Pastor Marty’s teaching on April 4th; the one I missed while in Belize. So I jumped on my Podcast app on my phone and downloaded the teaching and started listening as I was driving (don’t worry I never download and drive).
Immediately Pastor Marty’s words stuck out to me that being a disciple of Jesus means being a learner and asking questions.
Recently I was GROWth journaling about the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe and was instantly healed after being sick for over a decade, check out Mark 5 if you don’t know the story. I’ve probably read this story a dozen times, but this time something sparked a question in my mine. In verse 32 it says, “But he kept looking around to see who had done it.”
Normally I would just skip over this sentence and move on, but something stopped me when I asked the question, “Why did Jesus need to look around?” Think about it, Jesus could read people’s thoughts before they even knew they were thinking them, He could walk on water and calm the seas in the middle of a storm, and yet he couldn’t find the woman that touched him in the middle of a crowd?
Something isn’t right here.
So I did what Pastor Marty talked about and I went to my study Bible and looked for the notes. To my surprise there was NOTHING! How could the writers of my Life Application Study Bible forget to comment on the verse that I had a question about (sarcasm implied)? So I kept digging but there is shockingly little even as I typed Mark 5:32 into Google the results were every imaginable translation of the verse but no real explanation.
So I took a different approach. I remembered of another time when God was looking for someone. In Genesis 3:9 in says, “Then the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’” Now for this verse there was a footnote that says, “God confronts Adam first, holding him primarily responsible for what happened…” The author of that footnote goes on but I found it interesting that God calls to Adam as if He didn’t know where Adam was because that assigns responsibility for what had just happened.
In the same sense I see Jesus doing the same thing in Mark 5. He stops in the middle of a crowd and asks the disciples a ridiculous question in verse 30, “Who touched my robe?” He was on his way to heal someone else but stops an entire group of people and begins “looking” around for someone to assign responsibility to. Only instead of assigning responsibility for something bad, Jesus is bringing recognition to the woman for her faith. And the woman was terrified about what Jesus would say because she knew who He was looking for. But Jesus, in His infinite love and grace doesn’t condemn her for what she did, instead he says, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.”
As I thought through the contrast of these two stories I realized something about the character of God. Sometimes He is weird about how he holds us responsible for our actions, but even more important is that He DOES hold us responsible for our actions, whether good or bad.
As I look at my life I began to wonder if God was “looking” for me, would he be bringing recognition for something wrong I had done or would he bring recognition for my faith? Do I live a life of faith that is noteworthy? Would Jesus look for me in a crowd or would I be one of the crowd that was following hoping to see something amazing in someone else?