There’s an old saying the “familiarity breeds contempt.” The idea is that the more something is commonplace the less we think of it as special. Sometimes familiarity can also breed complacency. For Christians, this often happens when a story that we’ve heard from youth looses its meaning. The miracles of the Gospel can be seemingly commonplace and expected because we saw the flannelgraph characters since childhood. It becomes another “same old, same old” rather than an astounding act of God’s grace.
The story of the bleeding woman who is healed is no different. Here is a woman who had been suffering from a humiliating and life-altering ailment for over ten years who was healed simply with a touch of faith. A life was changed for not only was she healed, she was once again accepted.
To realize the power of this act, we have to recognize what the rabbinical rules were for those who suffered from this condition. Leviticus 15:25 indicates that this woman was “ceremonially unclean” which meant that she couldn’t worship, socialize, or participate in community as a “normal” person. She was ostracized from the rest of a society that few of us can imagine. Yet, when she met Jesus, she was in the midst of a crowd. In a place where everyone was battling for Christ’s attention, He reached out to the one that wasn’t supposed to be there.
It’s not only stories from the Gospels that become familiar to us. In some instances the Gospel itself – the Good News of salvation- can become commonplace in our lives. This should never be. We, just like the woman who was healed, should be shattering boundaries and breaking the rules in order to meet with our Savior. Nothing should keep us from being at His feet. Nothing should stop us from feeling His touch.