Good Morning all. John Ch6 tells the story of the woman with the issue of Blood. Picture the scene: Jesus is there in the street, there are hundreds of people around him and the disciples jumping around celebrating, patting him on the shoulder and the back, dancing and shouting.

With me so far? But there was a woman with an issue of blood who knew if she could touch him, she might be healed. Jesus was her last hope. Let me share with you what God had shown me…He revealed this scripture to me in the context of Worship.

The woman had a health issue that under jewish law would cause her to be cast out from the community as ‘unclean’. So she shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Also, it is written that she “reached out and touched the hem of his garment”. The hem is usually the stitched edge of an article of clothing; in Jesus’ case – probably the shawl he’d have worn as a Rabbi. This shawl had tassles around the edge, which represented the Word. The shawl would probably have been at waist height or even lower. Are you still picturing this?

So the woman reached out to touch the hem, or touch the word, also I believe she was on her hands and knees as she pushed through the legs of everyone in the crowd…this would make sense; she would not have been strong enough to wrestle through the crowd of men and women and more so, needed to be hidden or discreet so as not to be accosted and removed from the scene because of her unclean disposition.

She succeeded! And healing came to her. Now this is the important thing: She was healed, the crowd touching Jesus were not. So why is it different? Because the crowd were happy to have had him around and were celebrating his presence. The woman reached through all that and actually touched Jesus in a different way.

You see, it is possible to have Jesus amongst us and to celebrate Him and receive no power. So what’s the answer? To press in through and receive His power. The power of God responds to faith, not how loudly we shout and yell. Look at the story..Jesus said, “who touched me?” Despite many hands an shoulders jostling him in the street and much shouting and proclaiming, he knew someone had really touched him. The disciples didn’t understand it either. Jesus then said to the woman, “Your faith has made you well”.

So in the context of worship, this was important to me. I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate Him and party away in our churches, sure you can do that. But that’s not the end of it; that’s not ultimately why we are there. We cannot assume Jesus to be some divine dispenser machine where healing and gifts comes no matter what. It is clear healing and all sorts of things happen in response to faith. Often, God would ask us to do something in faith, or go some place. Obedience is an outgrowth of faith, so expect things to happen in faith when you obey him!

So how can I relate to this as someone who loves to make dancey music? First of all, yes – celebrate Him. Noone else is going to so it ought to be as regular as clockwork. But I believe this is saying to me that it’s important we know the difference between just having Jesus in our midst, and learning how to receive from Him. I do not want to find myself going to or doing events where although we celebrate His presence, nothing much else happens: Because we have forgotten what it is to ‘lower’ ourselves like the woman in the story, and approach Him with reverence and with fear but in complete faith – to touch the Word – and receive His blessing and healing.