"When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment. For she said, 'If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.' Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, 'Who touched My clothes?'"
Peter used this passage this week in one of our family worship times. He made the point that while sickness is usually contagious and transferred from one person to another, wellness is not passed in the same way. In this story, Jesus does not become infected by the affliction of the sick woman. Rather, he transfers His purity or cleanness to her and she is made well.
On a separate thought, I was considering a chapter from one of Rachel Jankovic's books, Loving the Little Years, entitled "I Am a Racquetball Court." Rachel does a good job effectively using examples and images to illustrate her points. In this chapter she says she likes to picture herself as a racquetball court, with her small children being the the players, hurling balls at her. She uses this imagery to help her remember that she wants to "take a bad attitude with a lot of spin and turn it into a quiet little ball rolling across the floor." She says also, "...it is my job to absorb the shock."
I find a connection between Peter's point about Jesus in the passage in Mark 5 and what Rachel has written about being a racquetball court. Jesus physically healed sickness. He performed miraculous acts of healing. In that way, we don't need to strive to be like Him. But perhaps this story of the woman who touched His garment is a helpful picture of how we want to imitate His nature, transferring peace and the love of Christ to others who are stirred up and stuck in sin as opposed to to joining them in their misery.
There is only one way to be able to do this. We must keep our focus on Christ, directly in front of us. If we focus on being a good example, or on what someone will think of us, or on trying to fix someone or solve their problems we will inevitably fail to transfer the peace of Christ, which only comes from Christ. We will also fail to keep ourselves clean, which is also something that only comes from Christ.