This superstitious woman, within the framework of her very strange and terribly primitive world of ideas, has grasped the mystery of the Savior at a deeper level than most theologians and worldly wise men. She has made Jesus unclean by touching Him. She has thereby saddled Him with her suffering and by this bold touch has made him a companion in her affliction. She has had her life’s burden taken away by him and pulled Him down into her deep misery. Thus with her poor finger she has unwittingly pointed to the mystery of the cross.
This woman made Jesus her brother. In so doing, she has made Him into precisely what He wants to be for us. This is why He went to the cross.
What she did unwittingly. However, it is actually the miracle of the gospel – that there is no depth in which this Savior will not become our brother. Theilicke
Where bounds the threshold between personal equilibrium and chaos? How far bends the edges of protective tissue beyond their expandable limits? Every man has a price, and for most not a tall amount ,echos the taunt. Pain has an authority to search this brink also, provoke the prick or pressure, and watch a writhing outcome. How many have discovered their ledge of jumping?
“I am so exhausted from marching, my stomach is so empty, I am so plagued with lice and scratching. I am so tormented by the biting cold of Russia, and so dead tired, that I am totally occupied, without the least bit of inner space for any speculative thinking. —My whole spiritual life is disorganized and ruined, I just vegetate.” Came the letter from the field. Then the theologian, “How should I answer these men?”
Because some believers feel like they would be burdensome to us, they may not feel freedom to come around us. I have felt exactly like these dear friends, and known others who have withdrawn also. You? Let’s face it, some of us, like the poor woman above, may carry a lot of distasteful baggage, and our imagination magnifies the odor of it.
Well my fellows, Jesus didn’t mind being with the sinners, the prostitutes, the infirm and even lepers. “this man receiveth sinners!” is the gospel report on the Christ —not accepting only the “can-doers” or the “act-togethered,” but the others, yes the others —the ill-thought-of, tatter-clothed, odd-thinking, one-armed, lame, blind, or broken crew.
He has time for them. The poor-self-imaged, the worn out, the unworthy, and the poverty stricken: these carry candidacy into His brotherhood. The psychically impaired, acne faced, and overweight qualify, as do the ashamed. Yes, rejected, discarded, failures, afraid, have a friend in Jesus. He promises to stick closer than a brother. He is not ashamed to call them brethren.
Finally, beat up and despised Himself, Jesus bore the stench of sin drenched human hood, evil, vile, raging, maniacal, degrading, debauched, blasphemous, and abominable —and loved them. “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”
I want to share my heart’s thought: none are far from glory, which touch the hem of His garment. He may shout out “who touched me?” Do not fear, but just turn toward Him and look into those eyes of compassion. Friend, you and me, we often know not what we do; extend your disgraced, unholy hand and just receive His embrace. He is not ashamed of you, O precious one! Love ya