Mark 5:24-34

There is a repetitive theme in scripture that greets us in the first two verses of this passage;

There was a great multitude and then there was just a few; in this case just one; a woman.

The theme I am referring to has to do with the many and the few; the many being called who will not enter through a narrow way – that place where just a few are chosen and only a few find life. (Matt 7:13,14, 22:14) Have you ever wondered what the difference is between the many and the few?

Many were following Jesus because of what they wanted him to do for their nation. It was obvious that a major prophet was in their midst. They knew prophets came to restore things to God’s righteous order. Their nationalistic zeal was being stirred. Their dream and heart’s desire;  if only the authority of this man might increase, then our theocracy could be restored; godly men would take office and we could be rid of the unclean Roman oppressors. And, undoubtedly many were just curious. Nothing this interesting had ever come along in their lifetime. They were not about to miss this show.

The few on the other hand were not just following Jesus. Like the suffering person in our passage, they were stalking Him. It was not zeal for the nation that motivated this woman; it was a debilitating physical condition that had backed her into a corner. She had exhausted her resources pursuing conventional remedies and she was getting worse. No doubt she feared death and likely the impact her absence would have on her dependents. She was motivated by desperation. She simply needed Jesus. It didn’t matter to her if He was the Messiah, the long awaited King of Israel. It didn’t matter that He was a great prophet. She just wanted to get well.

She was seeking Him simply because, she had “heard about Him“. In her mind, the seed of a tiny idea had been planted. The soil conditions in this woman’s heart allowed it to geminate and take root.  It’s expression as it blossomed was; “If I just touch His garments, I shall get well.” Had this woman been chosen? Had she just won the spiritual lottery – receiving the gift of faith and consequently her healing? Or, was there something in this woman’s heart that she contributed, that helped develop that original tiny thought back in its germination stage that ultimately separated her from the many; where she became one of the few; a beneficiary of God’s healing – salvation life.

Jesus eventually explains that the reason she became well was due to her faith. I believe faith often, if not always, begins with the most minute-sized seed being planted in our hearts. The Sower is sowing seeds of life everywhere, inviting many to discover Life in its myriad and wonderful forms but only a few respond to this invitation as it presents itself to us often in the subtlest of thoughts – practically a whisper.

There in that vulnerable live-or-die moment our hearts can say “yes” or “no” to that seed. Desperation was certainly a part of the soil conditions in this woman’s heart but in that critical and vulnerable moment, as this seed was suspended between heaven and earth; between eternity and time, when Satan was posing his doubtful questions to her heart, she separated herself from the many with her simple “yes” to Jesus.

The little seed sown in this woman’s heart, unlike most, was not stolen by the enemy. It blossomed and bore fruit. I would predict this event did not go unnoticed by others out there among the multitude who also had either seen or heard of Jesus. I suspect that this event  served God’s planting and nurturing of other seeds He had sown. Others were now poised with their “yes”, prepared to invite this Man, a forgiver, liberator and healer deeper into their lives. Just how large a plant might this seed grow into? Check out; Mark 2:8-11, Eph 6:16, 1 John 5:4,5, Matt 13:31.

I pray that one day soon, in the inevitable expansion of Christ’s kingdom rule, more than just a few will respond to the Sowers work. I pray there will be a growing and collective “yes” to the continual invitations Jesus is making into His life. In those critical moments when that seed is so vulnerable and being assaulted and we are tempted to agree with satan’s lies, we will instead recognize the faulty reasoning in our hearts; this complicity of ours with the doubts and unbelief being sown by the evil one; we will repent and say, “Yes Lord you are the same yesterday, today and forever. You do still save, heal and deliver!” I believe, In that moment, we will determine whether we will be among the many or the few. It is right then in that instant that we will partner with God in our choice in whether we are to be chosen or just called. In that often overlooked instant is when we shall determine if we will overcome the world and be counted among the blessed few . Check out Matt 2:8

Lord, may sufficient hunger for your kingdom reality rise up within Your elect. May You grant us that hunger and desperation of spirit; that acute awareness of our need for You. May it merge with a new resolve in our hearts to agree with You. May we see our faith arise, displacing every lie of the enemy with Your living truth so that Your Name may be glorified and honored in us, the victorious and overcoming children of the Living God. Amen.

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