Jesus laid hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God.

Luke 13: 13

 

This is an extraordinary moment. It is so far outside of the expectations and of the rules for living that existed that this event had to be stunning to those who witnessed it. Yet, even in their amazement, they could not come close to appreciating what they were seeing. As Jesus was teaching the people who had gathered on this Sabbath day in the synagogue, He first spoke the words of truth in saying to the woman that she was free; then, Christ reached out to her and touched her. The audience for this event was shocked that He would even speak to a woman, especially to one who was unclean by virtue of the obvious disability with which she was afflicted. This was a disability that their theology attributed to sin. Then Jesus goes beyond shock as He actually touches her while proclaiming that she was healed.

 

This story is wonderful and even magical in its portrayal of God’s capacity to heal and with its clear demonstration of compassion, mercy, and grace. But I think that there is something else on display here. God has no particular need to come out of His place in the heavens in order to touch our world and its inhabitants. My mind can not contemplate anything that He is lacking or any rational reason for God to deal in such a gracious manner with us. After all, we are the ones who decided to distance ourselves from Him. We chose to go it on our own and to depend upon our own knowledge, wisdom and interpretation of truth. Just as our initial ancestors determined to move away from the Tree of Life in order to select their own nurture, all people are born dwelling outside of God’s eternal word. Then almost all of us choose to continue to live on the far edges away from eternity until Christ brings about His radical transformative work in us.

 

Like in the story of the woman in the synagogue, God in the person of Jesus the Christ reaches out to us. He speaks His truth in a manner that penetrates deep into the hearts of anyone who is willing to hear. God’s Word is powerful and speaks of a profoundly insightful new identity that He desires to grant as a free gift to all people. Yet God does not stop there. He entered into our world in the person of Jesus, and God continues to dwell among us and in those who accept Him in the person of His Spirit. God, the Almighty, the Creator and King, reaches out His hands to everyone. He touches us with love and acceptance. Christ tells us to stand and walk with heads held high for we are healed. It is in our new redeemed lives that we become living testimonies to the glory of the God who chooses to dwell among us.