Woman In The Crowd

Nothing discourages us more than to be neglected and ignored. Matthew, Mark and Luke all tell the story of a woman in a crowd when Jesus came to town (See Luke 8:40-56). Jesus was having a terribly busy day. He had just returned from his dramatic healing of the demon-infested man of the Gerasenes and was promptly mobbed by a demanding crowd. The synagogue official, Jairus, soon captured His attention over his dying 12-year-old child, and Jesus began pushing his way through the crowd to visit the man’s home. Unknown to the Lord was the suffering woman behind Him. Her illness had hurt her for 12 years, seemingly incurable by the doctors she had paid a lot of money. And here she was, hoping Jesus could help her. Could she present herself to Him in such a huge crowd? Could she get his attention before he left with Jairus? She decided to take a big chance and go up behind Him to touch His cloak. Immediately she was healed.

Sensing what happened, Jesus turned and spoke to her. She fearfully confessed what she had done and told her painful story before everyone. Jesus kindly declared, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” She had felt alone, but she really wasn’t. God was concerned about her; she had faith, and Jesus was willing to help.

Many people feel alone and don’t know what to do about it. Sometimes people have actually felt alone in the assemblies of the church. As we all know, it’s our responsibility to reach out to them kindly. It’s always easy to talk to our own family and friends and neglect other people. We can learn from Jesus: He was busy with others, but he made sure He looked after the woman too.

If you feel neglected and alone, it’s also your responsibility to change things. The woman didn’t just allow self-pity to hold her back; she determined to reach out to the Lord in faith; she was rewarded. God never neglects us, but you must also reach out to other people. They may not know you feel ignored. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The only way to have a friend is to be one.” Try it; you might be surprised with the results.

Nobody really knows the name of the woman in Luke 8, but history has given her one: Veronica. Legend says she later rushed out of the crowd in Jerusalem and offered Jesus a cloth to clean his bleeding face as He carried the cross. Of course, this is just a legend, but the actual Biblical story has motivated many people to find relief for their own troubles, including neglect.

Nobody needs to feel alone when they are a member of Christ’s church. Now you know what to do about it.

– Tim Johnson