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ODJ: Holy Desperation

October 17, 2016 


[Jesus] turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” (v.30). 

READ: Mark 5:24-34 

When Jesus stood in the midst of the crowd and asked who had touched Him, the disciples must have thought He’d lost it. So many people pressed in, yet He wanted to identify just one (Mark 5:31). Eventually, the woman trembled forward with a confession, stunning everyone (v.33).

Jesus could tell that most of the people were just hoping to get something from him. But this woman didn’t simply want something—she needed Him. Doctors had drained her resources. The nonstop bleeding condemned her to be unclean. Family and friends had to keep away, lest they become contaminated. She couldn’t enter the temple, the center of social and religious life. And not just for a short time—but for 12 years. Worse yet, she was alone. Even lepers had their colonies! Jesus was her final and only hope (vv.26-28). So she touched Him. And He knew it.

How do we “touch” Him? Do we approach God with the understanding that He’s our final and only hope, that apart from Him we’re nothing? Or do we come carelessly, browsing for blessings?

Too often, I find myself simply going through the motions of devotions, prayers, and church attendance. Taken together, these are all good, all part of true faith in Jesus. But He wants more than our practices; He wants our hearts.

In both Isaiah 29:13 and Matthew 15:8, the Scriptures specifically address the problem of making a verbal show of faith without a true heart commitment. Jesus can still tell a touch from a touch. He sees past the façade to what lies beneath. To those who choose to remain on the outskirts of the throng, He said plainly that they would hear these words at the end—“I never knew you. Get away from me” (Matthew 7:23). Let’s seek Him and His loving touch today.

—Remi Oyedele

365-day plan: Acts 7:30-60

MORE
Read Matthew 7:21-23 and 15:1-16 for Jesus’ words to superficial followers. 
NEXT
Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? How can you tell whether you’re truly loving Him with all your heart or if you’re still on the outskirts looking in?